Wilco

Ashes of American Flags

the cash machine
is blue and green
for a hundred in twenties
and a small service fee
I could spend three dollars
and sixty-three cents
on diet coca-cola
and unlit cigarettes

I wonder why
we listen to poets
when nobody gives a fuck
how hot and sorrowful
this machine begs for luck
all my lies are always wishes

I know I would die
if I could come back new

I want a good life
with a nose for things
a fresh wind and bright sky
to enjoy my suffering
a hole without a key
if I break my tongue
speaking of tomorrow
how will it ever come
all my lies are always wishes

I know I would die
if I could come back new

I'm down on my hands and knees
every time the doorbell rings
I shake like a toothache
when I hear myself sing
all my lies are only wishes

I know I would die
if I could come back new

I would like to salute
the ashes of American flags
and all the falling leaves
filling up shopping bags

Art of Almost

No!
I froze
I can’t be so
Far away from my wasteland
I never know when I might
Ambulance
Hoist the horns with my own hands
Almost
Almost

I heard a faint olé
True love but
I had other ways to hurt myself
Like calling
I could open up my heart
And fall in and
I could blame it all on dust
The Art of Almost
Almost
Almost
Almost

I’ll hold it up
I’ll shake the grail
Disobey across the waves
Tomorrow
I’ll have all the love I could ever ache
And I’ll leave almost with you
All of almost
Almost

I Might

Was I wrong
Off all night long
So high
As the stinking sun
I came alive
Then I felt
Oh Uh Oh
Some guys
Have everything I know
It’s alright
I’ve done a lot of
Crawling around outside
(and I heard)
It’s alright

Your sno-cone
And it’s piss and blood
It’s in the cards
(oh, oh)
Get Well Soon
EVERYBODY!!
Do all lies
Have a taste?
Let it go
I don’t know oh...
A cow’s neck
Bad shave
In the low blow slo-mo
It’s alright
You won’t set the kids on fire
Oh but I might
HO

You come on
Sentimental
If the
Solar car’s coming
I’m home
The Magna Carta’s
On a Slim Jim blood
Brutha!
The sunk soul
With the coal clean toe
Is the mutha!
Yea. That’s right
When you gonna find out
I’m all inside
You still might

It’s all right
It’s all right

It’s alright
You won’t set the kids on fire
Oh but I might
HO

It’s all right
It’s all right

Black Moon

I was always right
About the morning
Ok, I’m an old shoe
Danced above the blades
Never stopped crawling
Over the black dunes

And I’m waiting
For you
Waiting forever
Are you awake now too?

I am always one
Without a warning
Whole days
Reappear
Lift away
Past the gate
Desert keeps forming
Underneath the black moon

And I’m waiting
For you
Waiting forever
Are you awake now too?

Spiders (Kidsmoke)

spiders are singing in the salty breeze
spiders are filling out tax returns
spinning out webs of deductions and melodies
on a private beach in Michigan

why can’t we wish their kisses good
why do they miss when their kisses should
fly like winging birds fighting for the keys
on a private beach in Michigan

this recent rash of kidsmoke
all these telescopic poems
it’s good to be alone

why can’t they say what they want
why can’t they just say what they need
come clean, listen and talk
hello private caller
i.d. blocked

the sun will rise, we’ll climb into cars
the future has a valley and a shortcut around
who will wear the crown of drowning award
hold a private light
on the Michigan shore

fool me with a kiss of kidsmoke
from a microscopic home
it’s good to be alone

I’ll be in my bed
you can be the stone
that raises from the dead
and carries us all home

there’s no blood on my hands
I just do as I’m told

Instrumental Credits


Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Electric Lead Guitar
John Stirratt Bass & Background Vocals
Glenn Kotche Drums
Mikael Jorgensen Piano & RMI Rocksichord
Jim O'Rourke Electric Rhythm Guitar, Piano & ARP 2600

Impossible Germany

Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

Wherever you go
Wherever you land
I’ll say what this means to me
I’ll do what I can

Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

The fundamental problem
We all need to face
This is important
But I know you’re not listening
Oh I know you’re not listening

If this was still new to me
I wouldn’t understand

Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

But this is what love is for
To be out of place
Gorgeous and alone
Face to face

With no larger problems
That need to be erased
Nothing more important than to know
Someone’s listening
Now I know

You’ll be listening

Written by Tweedy and Wilco
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – bass
Glenn Kotche – drums, percussion
Mikael Jorgensen – piano, Hammond A100 organ
Nels Cline – lead electric gutiar
Pat Sansone – electric guitar

Born Alone

I have heard the war and worry of the gospel
Ferried fast across the void
I have married broken spoke charging smoke wheels
Spit and swallowed opioid
I am the driver at the wheel of the horror
Marching circles at the gate
Mine eyes have seen
The fury so flattered by fate

Tonight I’d rather count the warm fuse internally
Subtract the silence of myself
I would rather choose the middle mind of mystery
Reverse a riddle for my health
I’ll unwind strange rinds overpowering
Toss the chimneys in the sea
I believe I’ve seen
The finger divine extremity

Please come closer to the feather smooth lens fly
Sadness is my luxury
Will you weather, join the cold, come before I die
More aware of it than me
The valves are blowing stone
The kids are unabashed
Loneliness postponed
Mine eyes deceiving glory
I was born to die alone
Alone

How to Fight Loneliness

How to fight loneliness
Smile all the time
Shine you teeth 'til meaningless
Sharpen them with lies

And whatever's going down
Will follow you around
That's how you fight loneliness
You laugh at every joke
Drag your blanket blindly
Fill your heart with smoke
And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you ever need
That's how you fight it

Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, acoustic guitar
Jay Bennett – piano, keyboards, backing vocals
John Stirratt – bass, backing vocals
Ken Coomer – drums

Misunderstood

When you're back in your old neighborhood
The cigarettes taste so good
But you're so misunderstood
You're so misunderstood

There's something there that you can't find
You look honest when you're telling a lie
You hurt her but you don't know why
You love her but you don't know why

Short on long term goals
There's a party there that we ought to go to
If you still love rock and roll
If you still love rock and roll?

It's only a quarter to three
Reflecting off of your CD
You're looking at a picture of me
You're staring at a picture of me

Take the guitar player for a ride
'Cause he ain't never been satisfied
He thinks he owes some kind of debt
It'll be years before he gets over it

There's a fortune inside your head
When all you touch turns to lead
You think you might just crawl back in bed
With a fortune inside your head

I know you're just a mama's boy
You're positively unemployed
So misunderstood
So misunderstood

I know you've got a god-shaped hole
You're bleeding out your heart full of soul
You're so misunderstood
You're so misunderstood
You're so misunderstood
You're so misunderstood

I'd like to thank you all for nothing
I'd like to thank you all for nothing at all
I'd like to thank you all for nothing
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing at all
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing at all

California Stars

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I'd like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd love to feel your hand touching mine
And tell me why I must keep working on
Yes I'd give my life to lay my head tonight
On a bed of California stars

I'd like to dream my troubles all away
On a bed of California stars
Jump up from my starbed and make another day
Underneath my California stars

They hang like grapes on vines that shine
And warm the lovers' glass like friendly wine
So, I'd give this world
just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California stars

Published by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc./Warner-Tamerlane Publishing
Corp./Words-Ampersand Music [BMI]/Titanic Majesties Music [ASCAP]

Words: Woody Guthrie [no date]
Music: Jay Bennett/Jeff Tweedy 1997
Jay Bennett: piano, backing vocal
Billy Bragg: acoustic guitar
Ken Coomer: drums and percussion
Corey Harris: lap steel guitar
Eliza Carthy: violin
John Stirratt: electric bass, backing vocal
Jeff Tweedy: acoustic guitar, lead vocal

Handshake Drugs

I was chewing gum
for something to do
the blinds were being pulled
down on the dew
inside out of love
what a laugh I was looking for you

the saxophones
started blowing me down
I was buried in sound
and the taxi cabs were driving me around
to the handshake drugs I bought downtown

they were translating poorly
I felt like a clown
I looked like someone I used to know
I felt alright
and if I ever was myself
I wasn’t that night

oh it’s ok for you to say what you want from me
I believe that’s the only way for me to be
exactly what you want me to be

I was chewing gum
for something to do
the blinds were being pulled
down on the dew
inside out of love
what a laugh I was looking for you

the saxophones
started blowing me down
I was buried in sound
and the taxi cabs were driving me around
to the handshake drugs I bought downtown

exactly what you want me to be

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass & Background Vocals
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Piano
Mikael Jorgensen RMI Rock-si-chord
Jim O'Rourke Electric Rhythm Guitar
Tim Barnes Percussion

Jesus, Etc.

Jesus, don't cry
you can rely on me honey
you can combine anything you want
I'll be around
you were right about the stars
each one is a setting sun

tall buildings shake
voices escape singing sad sad songs
tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
bitter melodies turning your orbit around

don't cry
you can rely on me honey
you can come by any time you want
I'll be around
you were right about the stars
each one is a setting sun

tall buildings shake
voices escape singing sad sad songs
tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
bitter melodies turning your orbit around

voices whine
skyscrapers are scraping together
your voice is smoking
last cigarettes are all you can get
turning your orbit around

our love
our love
our love is all we have
our love
our love is all of God's money
everyone is a burning sun

Whole Love

My gold marigolds attack
My black bed of roses
I’m going to bring ‘em all back
With hypnosis Ho

And I know that I won’t be
The easiest to set free
And I know that I won’t be the last
Cold captain tied to the mast

I recall you on the telephone
I recall when you get mad
I will still love you to death
And I won’t ever forget how

And I know that it won’t be
The easiest to set free
And I know that I won’t be the last
Cold captain tied to the mast

I’m on the other side
I’m satisfied
I’m a spirit dove
I’m looking for your love

I’m simple as a matter of fact
A punch in the nose don’t overreact
I will still love you to death
And I won’t ever forget how

And I know that I won’t be
The easiest to set free
And I know that I won’t be the last
Cold captain tied to the mast

And I know that I won’t be the one
To securely know when it’s wrong
But I hope I know when it’s past
And I hope I know when to show you my
Whole love
Whole love
Whole love
Whole love
Whole love
Whole love
Whole love
I won’t ever forget how

Can't Stand It

The way things go
You get so low
Struggle to find your skin
Hey ho
Look out below
Your prayers will never be answered again

Phones still ring
And singers sing
Speakers are speaking in code
What now
Well anyhow
Our prayers will never be answered again

You know it's all beginning
To feel like it's ending
No love's as random
As God's love
I can't stand it

The way things get
You get so high
Funny how we make new friends
Hey ho
I gotta go
Our prayers will never be answered again

You know it's all beginning
To feel like it's ending
No love's as random
As God's love
I can't stand it

Speakers speaking
Speakers speaking
Speaking in code

You know it's all beginning
To feel like pretending
No love's as random
As my love
I can't stand it

Your prayers will never be answered again
Your prayers will never be answered again
Your prayers will never be answered again
Your prayers will never be answered again

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar, backing vocals
Jay Bennett – piano, keyboards
John Stirratt – bass
Ken Coomer – drums

Dawned On Me

I’ve been young
I’ve been old
I’ve been hurt
And consoled
Heart of coal
Heart of gold
So I’m told

I’ve been lost
I’ve been found
I’ve been taken
By the sound
Of my own voice
The voices in my head

I can’t help it if I fall in
Love with you again I’m calling
Just to let you know
It dawned on me

Every night is a test
To the east from the west
The sun rises and sets
That’s the sun at it’s best

I forget, then I know
I’d regret letting you go
Sometimes I can’t believe how dark it can be

I can’t help it if I fall in
Love with you again I’m calling
Just to let you know
It dawned on me
It dawned on me

So on
And so forth
And again
I will stop to begin
At the end

I can’t help it if I fall in
Love with you again I’m calling
Just to let you know
It dawned on me

Oh I can’t help it if I fall in
Love with you again I’m calling
Just to let you know
It dawned on me

Hummingbird

his goal in life was to be an echo
riding alone, town after town, toll after toll
a fixed bayonet through the great southwest
to forget her

she appears
in his dreams
but in his car, and in his arms
a dream could mean anything
a cheap sunset on a television set could upset her
but he never could

remember to remember me
standing still in your past
floating fast like a hummingbird

his goal in life was to be an echo
the type of sound that floats around
and then back down like a feather
but in the deep chrome canyons of the loudest Manhattans
no one could hear him
or anything

so he slept, on a mountain
in a sleeping bag underneath the stars,
he would lie awake and count them
but the great fountain spray of the great Milky Way
would never let him
die alone

remember to remember me
standing still in your past
floating fast like a hummingbird
remember to remember me
standing still in your past
floating fast like a hummingbird
a hummingbird
a hummingbird

Instrumental Credits


Jeff Tweedy Vocals
John Stirratt Electric Rhythm Guitar & Background Vocals
Glenn Kotche Drums
Mikael Jorgensen Piano
Jim O'Rourke Bass & Electric Lead Guitar
Frankie Montouro Hammer Dulcimer
Karen Waltuch Viola

A Shot in the Arm

The ashtray says
You were up all night
When you went to bed
With your darkest mind
Your pillow wept
And covered your eyes
You finally slept
While the sun caught fire

You've changed

We fell in love
In the key of C
We walked along
Down by the sea
You followed me down
The neck to D
And fell again
Into the sea
You changed
Oh, you've changed

Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm
Something in my veins

Bloodier than blood
Bloodier than blood
Bloodier than blood
Bloodier than blood

The ashtray says
You were up all night
When you went to bed
With your darkest mind
You changed
You've changed

What you once were isn't what
You want to be any more

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, acoustic and 12-string guitars, synthesizers
Jay Bennett – lap steel, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, drums
John Stirratt – bass
Ken Coomer – timpani

Passenger Side

Hey, wake up
Your eyes weren't open wide
For the last couple of miles
You've been swerving from side to side
You're gonna make me spill my beer
If you don't learn how to steer

Passenger side
Passenger side
I don't like riding
On the passenger side

Roll another number for the road
You're the only sober person I know
Won't you let me make you a deal
Just get behind the wheel

Passenger side
Passenger side
I don't like riding
On the passenger side

Should've been the driver
Could've been the one
I should've been your lover
But I hadn't seen

Can you take me to the store, and then the bank?
I've got five dollars we can put in the tank
I've got a court date coming this June
I'll be driving soon

Passenger side
Passenger side
I don't like riding
On the passenger side
I don't like riding
On the passenger side

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, acoustic guitar
John Stirratt – bass
Max Johnston – mandolin, fiddle
Ken Coomer – drums
Brian Henneman – small stoned guitar

Kamera

I need a camera to my eye
to my eye reminding
which lies have I been hiding
which echoes belong

I've counted out days
to see how far
I've driven in the dark
w/echoes in my heart
phone my family tell them I'm lost on the
sidewalk

no it's not o.k.

I smashed a camera
I wanna know why
to my eye deciding
which lies have I been hiding
which echoes belong
I'm counting on
a heart I know by heart
to walk me through this war
memories distort
phone my family tell them I'm lost on the
sidewalk

no it's not o.k.

I'm counted out
and no one knows how far
I've driven in the dark
w/echoes in my heart
phone my family tell them I’m lost (yeah I’m
lost)

no it's not o.k.

Hate It Here

I try to stay busy
I do the dishes, I mow the lawn
I try to keep myself occupied
Even though I know you’re not coming home

I try to keep the house nice and neat
I make my bed I change the sheets
I even learned how to use the washing machine
But keeping things clean doesn’t change anything

What am I gonna do when I run out of shirts to fold?
What am I gonna do when I run out of lawn to mow?
What am I gonna do if you never come home?
Tell me, what am I gonna do?

I hate it
I hate it here
When you’re gone

I caught myself thinking
I caught myself thinking once again
Have to try to keep my mind out of this
Try not to pretend

I’ll check the phone
I’ll check the mail
I’ll check the phone again and I call your mom
She says you’re not there and I should take care

I hate it here
When you’re gone
I hate it
I hate it here
When you’re gone

I try to stay busy
I take out the trash, I sweep the floor
Try to keep myself occupied
Cause I know you don’t live here anymore

Written by Tweedy and Wilco
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – bass, 8-string bass
Glenn Kotche – drums
Mikael Jorgensen – piano
Nels Cline – electric gutiar
Pat Sansone – Wurlitzer
Jim O’Rourke – percussion

I'm Always In Love

Why, I wonder is my heart full of holes
And the feeling goes but my hair keeps growing
Will I set the sun
On a big-wheeled wagon
I'm bragging
I'm always in love

When I let go of your throat, sweet throttle
When I clean the lash of your black-belt model
Will I catch the moon
Like a bird in a cage
It's for you I swoon
I'm always in love

I don't get the connection
If this is only a test
I hope I do my best
You know I won't forget

When I fold the cold in my jet-lag palm
When I soak so long I forget my mother
Will I set the sun
On a big-wheeled wagon
I'm bragging
I'm always in love

It's a drag I snag
I'm always in love
I'm worried
I'm always in love

I'm worried
I'm worried
I'm always in love

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, baritone guitar
Jay Bennett – bass, piano, keyboards, drums, backing vocals
John Stirratt – piano, backing vocals
Ken Coomer – drums

Heavy Metal Drummer

I sincerely miss
those heavy metal bands
I used to go see
on the landing in the summer
she fell in love with the drummer
she fell in love with the drummer
she fell in love

shiny shiny pants
bleached blond hair
a double kick drum
by the river in the summer
she fell in love with the drummer
another
then another
she fell in love

I miss the innocence I've known
playing Kiss covers
beautiful and stoned
unlock my body
and move myself to dance
into warm liquid
flowing blowing glass
classical music blasting
masks the ringing in my ears

oh I sincerely miss
those heavy metal bands
I used to go see
on the landing in the summer
she fell in love with the drummer
she fell in love with another
she fell in love

I miss the innocence I've known
playing Kiss covers
beautiful and stoned

I'm the Man Who Loves You

all I can see
is black and white
and white and pink
with blades of blue
that lay between
the words I think
on a page
I was meaning
to send to you
I couldn't tell
if it would
bring my heart
the way I wanted
when I started
writing this letter to you
but if I could
you know I would
just hold your hand
and you'd understand
I'm the man who loves you

all I can be
is a busy sea
of spinning wheels
and hands that feel
for stones to throw
and feet that run
but come back home
it makes no difference
ever known
makes no difference
ever known to me
but if I could
you know I would
just hold your hand
and you'd understand
I'm the man who loves you

I'm A Wheel

hold on, you risk exciting me
once in Germany someone said nine
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine

hold back, don’t invite me
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine
once in Germany someone said nine

I’m a wheel
I will
turn you

I invented a sister, populated with knives

I’m a wheel
I will
turn on you

um,

I’m a wheel, I will
I’m a wheel, I will
I’m a wheel, I will
turn on you

turn on you turn on you turn on you turn on turn on…

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Electric Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Electric Guitar