"Down the Line" b​/​w "Marshallville"

by The Free Soil Party

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Recorded August and September of 2011 at Stagflation, Waconia, MN.


released September 20, 2011

All voices and instruments by Michial Farmer.



all rights reserved


The Free Soil Party Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. Its main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. ... more

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Track Name: Down the Line
You're gonna wake up and be thirty.
Hope to God you're not alone--
A life lost in the lasers and the wires
And the gamma and the phone.

The Midwest is Thomas Kincade,
Composed and nonchalant,
And the people tell you everything
But what they really want.

And everything you left behind will catch up,
And you'll watch it all fly by
Down the line.

So I drove down to Lawrence.
I told myself, "We'll see."
Another major disappointment--
I'll give myself to anyone who says that she wants me.

But she's really not a moron.
We just threw her for a loop,
So she's pulled in all directions
By everyone who tells her, "I love you."

Yeah, but the pills will make it better.
They'll stabilize and let us say good-bye.
See you down the line.

And Omaha's a wasteland,
But it's no worse than anywhere,
And I'm always locked into myself
And eighty feet up in the air.
St. Patrick's Day is over.
There's still vomit in the streets,
And there's people dying everywhere,
Just clutching the receipts.

But I know that blood is on me
If omission's still a sin.
I'd make a list of everything I never did,
But I wouldn't do it all again.

I'll just hide myself behind the graphite,
The toner, and the ink.
And the confessions are all in code
So you won't know what to think.

And I may deserve the guillotine,
The punishment that history decides
Down the line.

The temptation's anywhere but here,
But the truth is not so clean.
'Cos I drove across the country
To carve out a new routine.
Now Nebraska's just the punchline
To a joke I can't quite tell.
'Cos sure, the changes will be heaven,
But they'll just turn into hell.

So I'm trying to keep perspective.
These signifiers will find signifieds
Down the line.
Track Name: Marshallville
Pulled your name from my phone book
At 2 p.m. Thursday.
There's the recent-dialed numbers,
And you're still hanging there.
Your voice is like turpentine.
You open up my wounds
And pour yourself in
When you say you still care.

Now I lie in my bedroom--
I sold off the old house--
And try to eviscerate your memory.
When that doesn't work,
I pretend we're still married
And that whoever's breathing your breath tonight is me.

All those beautiful half-truths you spoke...
I know they're nothing to you,
But they're something to me.
I sat in a parking lot in Marshallville,
Strip club or brewery:
Anything to let me not see.

I'd kill for a bourbon and orange
Or a Valium,
Anything solid to gum up my blood.
Your eyes are black coffee
Or purified water.
They won't let me lose my head the way I wish they would.

You're the optimist's ex-wife,
Cut loose from your hometown
And wandering, aimless, through Chicago streets.
Now all I remember
Is the taste of your cigarettes,
The impression your body makes against my sheets.

Did you and the bridesmaids
Have dinner to celebrate
Your freedom, your escape from me?
Tonight it's like a hurricane in Marshallville,
Though Macon (County) is landlocked,
Eight hours or daylight from the beach.

In the days when your skin was my anodyne,
You promised that you'd never leave.
But now all these acts of God
Keep cracking the pavement there under your feet.
So how could I say no?

Sure, God's watching over us.
He keeps me in the lines
When I'm driving at 4 a.m. down I-75.
His fingers are infinite,
As wide as the interstate.
He'll crush this whole county, likely as not.

There's a drawer in the kitchen
Where I'm holding the keepsakes
You abandoned in Georgia with me.
I wish I could set fire to Marshallville,
Burn down the pleasures and the pain
And the lingering memory.

But I'm afraid of the consequence,
So I sit on the front porch
And drink myself happy 'til you come around.