Roger Manning (RM4)

by Roger Manning

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hi all,

Old friends may recognize most of these songs from hearing them during my tours - though there are newer ones too. Newer friends may not entirely recognize the person in the songs who is singing from a somewhat different world/life than the mildly cloistered one of more recent times. (A lovely, challenging, gallant, consensus-based, community-serving extended family of lefty marching bands and paper-mache wranglers).

Heads up that there's some pretty smutty stuff in here. I'm remembering that came about partially out of a rebellion against the 'political' performer label I was getting slapped with. Sure, I'm political, but the bulk of the material was personal - so there! But also, it's important fun stuff that worked well live. Blame for encouragement/license falls heavily on Liz Phair's 1st album AND many of you-all. :) :)

Summertime Blues #2 video:

White Rose Blues video:



released December 22, 2014

Christy Davis - drums
Fredrik Haake - drums (3,6,11)
Penny - voice (7)
Rachel Swaner - bass intro (13)

Made at the 'broome closet' nyc
Tracks 3, 6, 11 started at Bradford Reed's place in brooklyn
Matstering by Don Godwin in brooklyn ( )
Cover art by Fly (

Thanks to everyone!
In particular:
patty h, don g, mj, fly, bradford r, eric s, craig f, rmo, michael s, rachel sn, rachel sw

roger records 007

all songs by roger manning

art because it's made in soho publishing


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



Roger Manning New York, New York

The first Roger Manning album was released by California punk recording label SST (Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.). I toured the US and occasionally bits of Europe for over 10 years performing wordy-solo-rock accompanied by bass-heavy amplified 'acoustic' guitar. There's been a bit of re-emergence since 2007 and the album release in December 2014. ... more

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Track Name: The Driving Blues #5
be a rock star and see the world without joining the army
check out places built when the plane was still flat,
when culture was young,
and though everything revolved around it

i go to the continent and get blown away by babes and architecture
then come home to a billion people who say their
"boss is a jewish carpenter"
still, I'm proud to be from the America that brings you southpark
- play music and see it without driving a truck

i like to get so far west that El Paso is east,
so high up that mustard shoots when you open it.
flying-by several white pioneer days an hour
a million cacti giving you the finger

everything's a stereogram
memory daydreams ride shotgun
liz says, "ghost are just us from the future"
a rainbow touches down and sucks up color

on the american autobahn in no-speedlimit montana
a highway patrol guy parks roadside
looking like a maytag repairman
and reads the funnies

...she said the trick is learn to not do that shit
that makes you fell like you're trapped inside and idiot
use all your hot air to float your ass on up out of there
up to where the mustard shoots and you can see for miles

...make a living off your misery
and kick ass without becoming a cop or joining the army

a rainbow touches down on the highway
I guess that makes the road the pot of gold
Track Name: The Rescued Blues
freecellin' all night long
with Amy and Simone
"I Am The Man" back to back
with "Back to Black"
(on) fancy stereo
someone threw out
and I was like,
"and you thought it was over
no way, you're coming with me"

diving and thriving
golden corridor
one eye always to the curb
dive deep, don't leave a mess
see something good, and I'm like,
"and you thought it was over
no way, I'll give you to one of my friends
when they come over for
free (library) movies
and rescued food"

freecellin' all night
with Simone and Amy
good old 98
don't need no Vista
got brilliant sisters
in heavy rotation
and the fake card game

Manhattan golden corridor
and it feels like it's over
maybe not,
take me home or give me away

freegan love

diving team
Track Name: The Driving Blues #6
Sitars, guitars and the girl's singing just what i was thinking.
kneeing the wheel
i do this in remembrance of you
and the night we gave me something to think about.

Only two days apart
november and i got alot alike.
november in a halter
and a look that knows what's up
(a long time before you do ... )

so sweet
snow white
glowing in the pale-room light
just the thought of her and i gotta press my lips somewhere

doing this at 70something miles an hour
because you're not here.

No fantasies
i got mental home movies.
getting further but feeling closer
a continental divide between us now
love me anyhow

sitars, guitars and the goddess singing just what i was thinking
slippery little hunk of heaven
don't wanna toss you back just yet
sure, others could get me out of here but i want it to be you!

doing this at 70something miles an hour
because you're not here.

So sweet
snow white
glowing in the pale room light
such a passionate-responsive ...
Track Name: The Unspectacular Blues (hitcher #8)
you'd like a life, not just something to survive
but that's practically illegal
though despite what a thousand "hero-cop shows"* show
any crime you could do would be dwarfed
by the sins of the pricks in control,
(whose job is not to give you a pot but to force you to piss in one)
but have heart
nothing built on lies ever lasts.

meanwhile the chickens come home to roost in Oklahoma city.

15 minutes of fun
and alot of alienation
hey, get your naked tits out of their eternal flame
what's the matter with you, have you no respect for the holy dead?!
(...well they sure don't in their fascism)
i'll honor that poor sucker buried there
by refusing to become a receptacle for "the spectacle"
man, i'm so lucky,
failure has spared me a lot
it's allowed me to follow a bluebird out of the grand canyon
and to sleep-in and finish my dreams before i get up.

15 minutes of fun and alot of alienation
visions of situationists pickaxing boulevards?
hierarchy the public enemy
it was spring and bricks were in the air
bricks made a hell of a difference that year.

15 minutes of fun and alot of alienation
visions of situationists pickaxing boulevards
and heaving them at spectacle receptacles.
they've sure kicked some ass in france
(though it's still a big bourgeois mess)
and eventually, the chickens come home to roost in
downtown manhattan

you'd like a life
not just something to survive.
you'd like a life not just a lifestyle?
well? ...


*a Billy Syndrome(NYC) expression
Track Name: The Pearly Blues #11
gawd, you're such a drug,
i'd get in line if i knew how...

blessed with a little context
flying into a scream of consciousness
"in the first person spectacular"
like henry in june.
expressing a little outrage on stage,
am i interesting enough now
to be poor and still get over?

sometimes i long to be a "real man" swimming upstream to spawn and die
but i'm too adolescent financially.
less a man, more a phase (for the ladies)

funny how that guy over there's better at almost everything
but i'd still rather be me.
i could never walk that walk for long
and as for that friend on his arm
sure, i can appreciate a lamborghini,
doesn't mean i'd actually want to be with one.
(invitation to objectification)

Out on the coast
dj shadow's sifting through the vinyl
for his next cd
not me,
i'm out on the road
gas food logic
over by the national guard aviary
and something to catch me when i ...

on my back an ocean of lotion
and someone special to rub it in
i turn over and we're gone until dawn
shades of gravy
and the big sky lets loose right after

blessed with the gift of context
i see that most all of my strife is bullshit
just a set of holograms from egoland
acid might of shown me sooner,
but I passed on that shortcut
in anycase
anyone's goal is to like themselves.
...are you a warm person? then that's where i want to be
i know you know you know
and that i'll never entirely understand
but i want you to try and explain to me
"in the first person spectacular"
like henry.
Track Name: The Driving Blues #7 (explanation #3)
did they tell you
how charmed I was?

down with QT in missouri
beautiful buttes in moonlight
driving like an asshole through idaho
I know I'm headed for shit
but what can you do?

future worrying's
never worked for me
it's important to see the light
but no point in staring at the sun.

I've lost that desperate feeling
got sucked up off my little raft
by aliens
what a relief not being
in-love all the time.

downtown friends
ain't got much shelf life
emotional anorectics.
who loves you
is who
comes to carry you home
from your cross.

I've got a million stories
how many do you want?
Important books in the trash
laying in wait
library of fate
laying in wait
for you to
carry them home.

did they tell you
how charmed I was?
...blown away.

Down with QT in Iowa City
Butte in moonlight
...I've lost that desperate feeling.
Track Name: The Summertime Blues #2
she had a small town and country kind of heat
none of that L.I./So.Cal. neurotic hard to get
none of that holding out for any bullshit

she's like, "in the barn?"
and i'm like, "ok"
"in the pond"
middle of the day
"in the pines?"

she says, "I'll strip for your student film project
and drain you up against the door after..."
I'm like, "Yeah, and dance for me in your room
and I get to touch."
and she's like, "Yeah, of course!"

"on the table?"
in the creek bed,
middle of the day
waiting in the closet for everyone to go away...

sweaty, slippery, sloshing around
up in the summertime attic
it gets so hard
and hard to hang on
it's so burning hot in there baby

"out on the rockface then?"
middle of the lake
"in the stationwagon,
the whole family up front?"

apples are love out in a field
farm kids yelling, "hey! where you going?!"
we're going to the edge of town ...

"in the rain?"
groping in the graveyard,
middle of the day
"in these pines?"
"yeah, hurry!"

"in the barn?"
"this way!"
naked in the pond,
long hot summer day...

Track Name: The Morning Blues
something's changed
now music gets me high
now beauty makes
me ache

and what's up with you?
from anyone else
that would be asking for it

kissing at the castle in midnight land
if only I could bottle what you got
but that'd wreck the effect
now wouldn't it?
I hope to lose sleep next to you again soon

morning wants me to bring you here
and make you go
real nice, (real) strong
and slow
and then maybe me too
maybe, all over you
and we can go ahead and fall
deep is fine
I'll understand the loss this time
but, no worries
that'd wreck it
wouldn't it?
come sing to me in my sleep soon

kissing at the castle in midnight land
only you
give me heat
just holding hands

what'd you expect?
you are beauty
and I'm not dead
you offer the apple, I accept

my lust is true
I hope to lay awake next to you again
Track Name: The Coney Firey Island Blues
all the sweetness in the world at our back
to the shore for a night of who knows what
little angels skipping wildly across the sand
to the thump of an anarchist marching band

friendly mob reclaims the streets
hoopening in flames on the beach
break from the culture of fear
to the tune of a beautiful anarchist marching band

fake angels are beautiful tonight
silhouetted by dazzling wonderwheel light
skipping wildly across the strand
joy dancing with the band

I missed diving again tonight
been with all the sweetness in the world, so that's alright
feeling seeping back in
feels like

meet me in the middle of the air
way up on the brooklyn bridge
reclaim the streets, reclaim the sand
to the thump of a beautiful anarchist marching band
Track Name: The White Rose Blues
Intro: C ( c d g b e then c d g c e ) ... (capo 4th fret)

Am C
Oh, Sophie, Sophie oh,
nothing more startling or beautiful
White Rose blooming
in the deepest darkest canyon
found out everything
and couldn't live
doing nothing
cut down

oh Sophie, Sophie oh,
the White Rose won't leave us in peace
eliminated every excuse
for doing nothing
and gave the so-called fatherland
a fragment of redemption
will we be able to do the same?

I know
3000 died for our sins,
but thieves sold out our cleansing for petroleum
yes, we deserve the regime we're willing to endure

oh, but Sophie, Sophie Scholl
from Munchen to Rostock
Seattle to Liberty Plaza
from the White Rose to the black flag,
legions of you now

youth against fascism
"a noble treason"
spike the tree...
with reason
nothing more startling

or beautiful
than what you and the others did

oh Sophie, Sophie oh,
"the sun still shines."
Track Name: The Perisa Blues #2
the soup was good
the wine was sweet
the fire, it was hot!

born again on a carpet of black sand
strong feelings of having been taken in

she said you should be smiling
i said there's too much going on
i'll have to smile later.
by starlight in the middle of the night
laying amongst friends, we did it again
we jumped in the river
went down deep
to that dark place where glory and beauty meet

catch the wave just before it crests
on black sand we did it again
in the naked ocean we rinsed my salt from our skin.
we jumped in the ocean
went down deep
ancient towns slide into the sea

grace, tenderness
something about her hands
strong feelings of having been taken in
everybody wants her
everybody hates me
double fire
it was hot
so we jumped in the river
went down deep
to that dark place where glory and beauty meet

born again on a carpet of black sand
strong feelings of having been taken in...
Track Name: The Anniversary Blues
rid'n on this train
got stars in my eyes
steamy daydreams
but the cracked bell refused to ring the same again
maybe it turned back into the jar that hope monsters live in

my arms are clear, no tattoos, no marks of you
only the "golden footprint that no-one will ever remove"
and the shovel you left too

that was a little piece of me from now that made you so sad
in that dream you had
years ago
i guess you heard the crying through "the walls of time"

bad timing of patience and forgiveness
we'll go dutch paying for this
i stole "spy in the house of love"
read it
and put it back
stole some protection too
but there ain't no protection from such lethal rejection
it's a sex-esteem thing.

sometimes ignorance can spare you being scarred for life
by what really shouldn't matter
i turned out to be the one
i really couldn't live without
(if you were really so wonderful you'd be here now)

riding on this train, stars in my eyes
smart, brave, strong, incredible skin and true to her feelings
irresistible combination
great company on our anniversary...

...i lost hold of myself in the foggy cumberland gap
when you pass that way maybe you could bring me back
Track Name: The Waterloo Blues #2
feels pretty good singing lowly on the curb
in the middle of the night it took half of
to find this place again
and the song's come true
i've gone so far
it ain't me coming back to waterloo

shel's right, sometimes it's all just for the blast
that get's you up to speed to break orbit
the big fast-forward
feel the power
of heartbreak

seen my lucky number shining
by wild chance
in the nightstreets of crazy paris
seen that seeing anyone as a shiny thing
is gonna mess you up
every time

i had this trilogy of epiphanies
a little tale of three cities not be alone
ain't reason enough
because they're so into it
ain't reason enough

going across the sea, across the line
took half the night to find this place again
and sing lowly on the peaceful curb

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