Roger Nelson

Roger Nelson

 Rochester, Minnesota, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

I write songs about specific normal things. I feel like the closer I get to telling truth about the details of life, the more revealing they are about broad, overarching themes.

Biography

I disguise myself as an architect during the day, and this profession probably influences the way I write songs. Making memorable places is a lot like making memorable musical images.

I've been writing songs for decades. Influences are popular culture icons like James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon and Singer-songwriters like John Gorka and Greg Brown.

Lyrics

Adjusting to the Light

Written By: Roger Nelson

I strike a match
Catch my breath at your silhouette
In the darkened room behind you
I see shapes I cannot get
Are they images of comfort?
Are then images of threat?
Are these tears upon your face
Or is it sweat?
And in the dark night
Is it wrong or is it right?
My eyes adjusting to the light
My eyes adjusting to the light

I light the wick
See your dress upon a hook
You sit there like a witness
Your hand upon a book
Are you my mother or my daughter?
The policeman or the crook?
Is this the window or the mirror
In your look?
And in the dark night
Is it wrong or is it right?
My eyes adjusting to the light
My eyes adjusting to the light

And there’s a light that falls from heaven
There’s a light both soft and hard
There’s a light that comes from someplace
I can’t name
There’s a light that strikes a sideways glance
And catches you off-guard
There’s light that draws you
to the window pane

I lift the sash
I draw a breath and watch the street
There’s a spotlight on the corner
Where a couple used to meet
And the shadows of their drama
Were like forms that you could feel
And I wonder,
Was it the light that made them real?
And in the dark night
Is it wrong or is it right?
My eyes adjusting to the light
My eyes adjusting to the light

Maybe You've Forgotten

Written By: Roger Nelson

Maybe You’ve Forgotten

Maybe you’ve forgotten
How the highway takes a bend
Just before the turnoff to my place
Maybe you turned back before you
Made it to the end
Maybe you’ve forgotten where I live

Chorus:
Where I live I keep these artifacts
Shards of pottery, and broken glass
Where I live
I’m paging through the photographs
Trying to piece together acts
Reconstruct the truth from the facts

And maybe you’ve forgotten
The secret at the start
Maybe it was better left unsaid
Maybe the idea
Was too simple for our hearts
Maybe you’ve forgotten the myth

Second Chorus

Instrumental

You might remember
The things that we buried
Every place that we made love
Now I reawaken
The things that were taken from
Every hole that we dug

Maybe you’ve forgotten
All the sites along the way
The places where we sifted through the past
Maybe you misplaced my
Archeology of shame
Maybe you’ve forgotten what I did

Third Chorus

Second Chorus
We shared a myth that we would find an ancient vase
Perfect symmetry on every face
In our myth
Our love is filled with clarity
Or maybe charity would fit
Maybe that was it, Did you forget?

Third Chorus
What I did, I did it carelessly
I re-live it every day
What I’d give,
You know I’d give it endlessly
Restore your memory
Tell me, Is it lost without a trace?

Like these artifacts
Shards of pottery and broken glass
Where I live
I’m paging through the photographs
Trying to piece together acts
Reconstruct the truth from the facts

Discography

The Goodnight Train
The Bones of My Inner Ear

Set List

Bad Hair Day
Am I Wrong
Brainstorm
Red Sky in the Morning
Raise the Roof
All the Lights in the House Are On
Tall Drink of Water
Flown Away
Cockatiel Chicks

Scott Free
Beat That Check to the Bank
Hard Water
Beauty Has No Meaning
Ruben and Chelsea
Rivertown
Tender Resignation
The Day After Tomorrow
The Good Night Train