Tempus

by Nell James

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1.
Absolute which bears our root Will follow to the end The yes of all that’s coming Is the no of all that’s been Moving forward like a sword Plunging through the years The morning dew is frozen Never wet with tears If you’re here or if you’re there No matter where you stand The speed of one pound falling Is the same if feathers or sand Cancel out that world of doubt As fortunes wind their way The start of what’s tomorrow Is the end of yesterday Window panes and painted frames Around these doors, below ceilings, above floors Countless hours, endless days Have come to none now all is said and done In my heart this is a part Of all I’ll ever know But must live for tomorrow It’s the only way I can go © 2006 Nell James
2.
Images 03:51
All the images that seem to appear Golden years gone, they bring me some fear All the stages we pass through our age Fiction on a stage Greetings from days you’ve left behind Hope you are well, what is on your mind? Have any changes taken place ‘Sides the pictures of your face? Carry onwards, there’s nothing to do But live out, go on to something new Carry history of you and me Be what we will be I’m a stranger in my eyes All the makings of what we are The places we’ve been, the blink of a star All the images that seem to appear They’re not truly clear I didn’t choose to birth to here In these lives, in this sphere Yet everything seems to be right As well as anything might They’re strangers in my eyes Feels so strange sometimes © 2006 Nell James
3.
All through the ages past We’ve hungered to know The powers that we can grasp Led us from long ago Together we march to the sun As we trek the roads of the sky The secrets of all that’s around Will change how we get by, how we get by The searching is in your soul It’s in your blood Rearranging to meet your goal Will it turn you to mud? Together we march to the sun As we seek our cups to be filled The quantity that we destroy Will it equal all we rebuild, all we rebuild Sister, my brother, parents and friends Is this the answer or the end Are they one in the same Words that you’re speaking, I’ve heard before Many people walked through that door The rules of nature we bend, oh is this a game of pretend We’ll carry on to the end © 2006 Nell James
4.
Cast Away 04:15
Cast away, oh cast away Along the rocky coast What will you miss the most Now that you’re never going home Fill the space, oh fill the space With thoughts and revelations As you claim your life’s station Now that you’ll always be alone Solitude is eternal The company of your mind The endless days of searching And living with what you find It sounds such a tragic place to be But it has a certain beauty The cavernous space inside This world which we reside Blowing through, oh blowing through The wind, it scatters all Brown leaves in the fall And the murmur of our past Flickering, oh flickering A star wavers in the dark It’s a brief but beautiful mark It’s the heart that you know best It’s not to get you down Chin up, feel proud You’re a member of the human race It may not be glamorous, but it is your place This is your face, so take it with grace All those feelings that confuse And all the love that you lose It’s a part of this human race It may not be easy, but it is your fate This is your state, so don’t be late © 2006 Nell James
5.
Day By Day 03:36
(Instrumental)
6.
Tempus 07:04
Lights have a way and time, from far beneath these distant nights I will write of their structures as they seem to sing and recite (All the years and days, that we try to hold in our hands) All the seasons of every year (Above us all, we see them) See them walking in the sky Stones follow with the sun, so all who see this shadow owns (Stones in the earth show time) Of the measures, we build because we cannot see the unknown (All the hours and days, that we try to hold in our hands) All the hours of every day (Below us all, we see them) See them leaning on the Earth What was past, is it still Still we try to grasp moments as they passed Past means none, what’s to come Coming from what’s most, memories are our ghost Ghosts care not what we see See not much of time, so just walk our line Line is long behind now Now is all that’s here, soon it disappears Now is all that’s here, soon it disappears Craft anything we can, the tools for seeing through the days (Craft tools that see, show time) As we do we see new ways, every century pass on ways (All the ticks and tocks, that we try to hold in our hands) All the ticks and tocks that we make (Among us all, we see them) See them shifting in their time What was past, it is still Still what we can know, use it for today Days are short, light is long Longing for the past, memories are our dreams Dreams care not what we see See not much of time, so just walk our line Line is long behind now Now is all that’s here, soon it disappears Now is all that’s here, soon it disappears Shifting shaping coinciding Endless thread demands our dividing © 2006 Nell James
7.
White Lies 04:23
Fiction’s true if truth is sense’s lies Maybe fantasy is truth in disguise Thriving in a dream of yesterday When the heart feels right, what can you say? Timeline stretching out in decades Turn into days and bend in my mind We’re already so blind, so what’s the false in trusting your pulse? Loves of real are few and far between Is it more unreal if the shadow’s unseen? Value is facade now they seem peas from the same pod The memory and the dream run the same stream Can you understand a bursting heart without demand? Will this gain respect when you measure the effect? Myths and stories all, there’s nothing more that you can call My image of the past, and yet it will last When an empty place hangs in the air will take a face Feeling’s just as real and just as ideal © 2006 Nell James
8.
Fossil 04:32
From another place I’ve seen a face of yesterday and beyond Drunk on fossilized youth through darkness, out the dawn He shatters all the years that fall between the now and then A moment that will know its life many times again Endless hallway to what was then Living always, he’ll never end And he will lend himself to confusion He will bend himself for illusion A ghost transcribed his spirit, left on parchment to be seen Knowing nothing more or less, his face remains serene Of all the figments of the past, that I could file through Of all the songs and words been said, I’m glad I know of you © 2006 Nell James

about

"Tempus" (2006) featured the compositions, production, vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and percussion of Nell James, a teenaged musician who cites the work of Yes, Gentle Giant, The Flaming Lips and Nektar as her major influences. A theme album loosely tied around the concept of time, "Tempus" tastefully merges elements old and new - '70s progressive rock and contemporary indie rock - with a spirit that is both wide reaching and philosophical, as well as personal and accessible, and decidedly different from most prog or indie acts.

"This 17-year-old Long Island guitar gal thrice comes close to climbing the pomp heights of ’70s...rock [with] “Tempus” (Yes-like ornateness), “Hunger to Know” (heavy enough to justify its eight-minute length), and “End of Yesterday” (...placid enough to make Espers jealous.)"
- Chuck Eddy, Harp Magazine

"Rarely do you come across an album that is so brimming with sincerity, so honest, and so heartwarming, as [Nell] has put together here. If you love lush, folky prog rock, with plenty of nods towards the greats of the 70's, and don't mind a little pop thrown in for good measure, this will be a pleasant surprise for many...chock full of gorgeous vocals, sumptuous Mellotron sounds, majestic piano, gymnastic electric guitar, lush acoustic guitar, flutes, synths, and a myriad of drums and percussion."
- Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility

credits

released March 15, 2006

All songs written and produced by Nell James. Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and percussion, and album artwork by Nell James.

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Nell James New York, New York

Nell James is a self-produced one-woman-band known for her 2006 progressive rock album, "Tempus," which she released at age 17. She cited the work of Yes, Gentle Giant, the Flaming Lips and Nektar as her major influences and performed vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and percussion. James now composes concert music under the name Nell Shaw Cohen. ... more

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