Consoling Dick

In 1906, my great-great-grandfather attempted to negotiate peace between a lynch mob and a friend of his, named Dick. The suspect was holed up in a house with a shotgun and instinctively pulled the trigger as soon as his friend walked in the door. This performance consisted of a song, addressed to Dick, that outlines a series of violent events. My intention was to forgive and console my great-great-grandfather’s murderer by making an objective observation of these acts. I played the song on a keyboard, concealed within a pine wood coffin, that I built to my own proportions.


Consoling Dick Lyrics

A fine mess you got yourself into, ain’t it Dick?
Runnin’ and hidin’ from a whole goddamned town
Just a waitin’ for an excuse

Hell, I don’t blame you
I’d a pulled that trigger, too

Just the way they bring you up, ain’t it?

Did the recoil knock you outta that chair?
That old Winchester’s a motherfucker!

Did you even recognize him, Dick?
They picked him outta the moulding for weeks
Left ear made it all the way down the hall!
Tip of his nose in the kitchen sink

If it makes you feel any better
A friend o’ mine pounded my skull so goddamned hard
When I finally came to, I puked on my boots!
I don’t hold it against him nowadays

Dick…
Dick, that’s just the way they bring us up, ain’t it?
They always told me: Don’t you take no shit!
You hit that man and you keep on hitting him
You hit that son-of-a-bitch ’til he can’t get up!
Just the way they bring us up

Reckon they’d a hung ya, regardless
Folks gotta see a little… blood, now and then
Law’s inclined to make examples, too
Tell me Dick, did the rope crack the bone
Or did ya have t’dance around a little bit?

His grandson had a word with the judge
Got the old man outta jail in Kansas
Told me: They was gonna make an example of your father

Well Dick, that’s just the way they bring us up

I went to an auction when I was a boy
Couple o’ steers had gotten into it
Clawed out each other’s eyes with their hooves
It didn’t make ‘em any cheaper, though
Reckon the meat was still good, just the same

Well Dick, that’s just the way they bring us up, now ain’t it?

Dick,
I waited seven long years, Dick
Seven years just t’run a man down
I had t’make sure I was big enough, first

That’s just the way they bring us up, Dick
That’s just the way they bring us up