The Great Routine!

by Briar Rabbit

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For Henry Gaffney and Bert Williams

Thank you: Devon Clarke Geyer, Nicki Singleton, The Bearded Hoofer, Lawrence Watson, Henry Gaffney, Anna Silverstein, Chanelle Johnson, Meredith Rabs, Jeanie Harrell, Adam hand, Annie Hoffman, Patrick DeWitte, Patrick Dinnen, Hannah Schefsky, Matt Margeson, Michael Mullowney, Steve Stone, Tyler Rehm, August Forte, Scales, Ashford, Ashlocks, and you.


released February 2, 2011

Cover Art by Michael Mullowney (
Engineered by Annie Hoffman and Adam Hand
Mixed by Patrick Dewitte
Mastered by Carl Saff



Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.


Briar Rabbit Chicago, Illinois

A 2013 International Songwriting Competition winner & B.B. King's Nephew, Briar Rabbit believes pop music and intelligent lyrics are not mutually exclusive

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Track Name: Coon
Hello, How do you do?
I am the coon (That's what they tell me)
Still a boy, twenty-two years old
So feel free to scold when I don't do what you want me to
What'll it be?
I'm here for your use
Just ask the Coon

I dreamed of the stage as a kid
Though it isn't as bright as it was on my eyelids
I'm convinced there's no job as fine
as delivering lines and hearing folks laugh at em every time
So I'll take the bright lights
You keep the truth
I'll be the Coon

I will sing and dance for you
I'm the Coon

Could I dance without strings?
And still make you laugh?
And smile when I sing?
Never seen the puppeteer's eyes
But they're supposed to be kind
and this life's so easy on the mind
My people tell me I'm turning the screw
They don't understand
The world loves a Coon

No, I'm not sposed to think but I suppose if I did
I might find this all a bit cruel
In a country of dreams, a man can't be a king
Without somebody being his fool
But I'm just foolin with you
I'm just the Coon
Track Name: The Great Routine!
An actor in the mirror is darkening his face down
to a character with burnt cork and a rag
Laughs at his expense have always covered his expenses
Well it's the only thing he knows and the best he'll ever have

Bright lights, his name announced, a house full of excitement
Once upon a time those were his dreams
The worst is he understands it's all counterfeit
He's the saddest man I know and the funniest they've ever seen

Watch him stumble, dance and sing
The audience laughs. It's so obscene
His stuttering is all routine
But his heart is just as broken as his speech

He's waiting on his chaperone to take him to the bar
of a theatre he's sold out for years
He could buy one hundred rounds
But it wouldn't take the edge off
of the only dance that makes a whole crowd cheer

For the minstrels final act
He hangs himself from the rafters
Silence falls, nobody laughs
It was the blackest comedy they'd ever seen
Track Name: In My Head
In my head I was wasn't an actor
In my head I was sincere
and I could express my thoughts directly
without the fear of what they'd think of me

In my head, I wasn't a charmer
Didn't fool her into lovin me
Didn't even need to trick myself
Into thinking this was something else to be happy

I've got something inside pumping under my skin
More than blood and it keeps me up at night
When the world is asleep a perpetual dream
That there is more to life

In my head you looked right at me
and I didn't need to look away
Our fingers locked like piano keys
Mine fit accidentally, yours were natural
You found my wordiness attractive
And shared the you no one would ever see
and I was more than just a stand-in
For the next unworthy bastard that you meet

As the lights that only blind finally find their way to black
I think to myself watching all the colored speck dance away
There is so much more to me
but this is all the world will see

In my head it's the future
and all of this makes sense to me
Track Name: Afterward (You Should Have Seen it)
I cut your rope down
From the rafters
Once everybody went home
A different person
Than they arrived
At the ol' minstrel show

Once they realized
What had happened
The main curtain was drawn
But it was too late
Everyone witnessed
Damage that cant be undone

You should have seen it!
they couldn't believe it!
You forced them to see a man
take his life in his own hands
Left em speechless
they couldn't believe it....

There's no pride
No satisfaction
No lynching photographs
Just your final image
Guilt is seeping
The masks are starting to crack

The paper boys shouting
"Read all about it!
On a vaudville stage at night,
a famous minstrel takes his life!"
They're all reading but still can't believe it
Described at your funeral
as 3/5's of a man with 6/5's of a soul

As you walk along the clouds and find
what this is all about are you still angry?
I heard, in heaven, all of your pain
falls in drops of rain and it hasn't stopped for days
Man you should have seen it
They couldn't believe it