"Lionel Trilling" b​/​w "A Trifle"

by The Free Soil Party

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Recorded at Stagflation, Waconia, MN, October and November 2011.


released November 15, 2011

All vocals 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: Lionel Trilling
The things you say you know, you know you don't know,
But you've got to say it anyway.
'Cos faith is made of half-lies that you tell yourself
'Til the world springs back your way.

The storyline seems tragic,
But it's comic at the core.
You tell yourself you can't take it.
You can always take one more.
It's something that happens to you,
Another trial to undergo,
But it slowly eats through all the piles
Of things you knew you'd never know.

I used to envy Lionel Trilling:
His bespoke suits and quasi-divine call.
But then I read that Lionel Trilling
Lived to see it tattooed on his wall.

The language was unprintable
And probably spelled wrong.
Still, I bet he had to think,
"I guess I knew it all along."
And like every broken sparrow
That goes crashing toward the ground,
He looked forward to the impact
'Cos at least it beats the sound.

Diana said to Lionel,
"Babe, I'm sorry. I just don't know what's wrong."
Lionel saw the chance to quote a poet.
Told her, "Life is very long."

But if Thine is the Kingdom
And the glory and the power,
We might make it through Ash Wednesday
In this life of Mardi Gras.
I've hung it like an albatross,
And I've worn it like a badge,
But after almost thirty years,
I can't tell the good from the bad.

Lionel said, "Of course I'm in between.
It's the only honest place to be."
Track Name: A Trifle
Well, hey there, Pretty Polly.
If you don't need your name no more,
I'll be glad to take that from you.
I'll write it on the wall in blood
In a language they don't speak
For the next girl who becomes you.

Well, I guess your guess was right.
I guess you never know when the axe is gonna fall.
We all rot in shallow graves
And bleed like open sores that spill pus on them all.

Well, hey there, Lilli Shaw.
You took the fire for us all,
And you never said a word, no matter what that bastard said.
And when the roll was called up yonder
And his name was on the list,
I hope that you cracked in his head.

Well, I know you been set free,
And I know I never will, but that's okay.
'Cos if heaven's for the pure,
I was never going anyway.

He emptied out the cage.
Snow was pressing on the walls.
He was begging for reply.
I put the noose around his neck.
He never even woke
To hear me say good-bye.

When your parakeet won't sing,
You gotta find another way to get along.
There's so much evil in the world.
Who is gonna miss another one?