Wilco

Normal American Kids

I remind myself of myself long ago

before I could drive, before I could vote

All of the time, holding a grudge 

before I knew people could die just because

Shot from a sling, head full of buzz

I knew what I liked was not very much

High at the time, tied to the grid

Always afraid of those normal American kids

Oh all of my spirit leaked like a cut

I knew what I needed would never be enough

I was too high to change my bid

always afraid to be a normal American kid

Always hated normal American

Empty summer days 

Lightning crazed and cracked like an egg

High behind the garden shed 

Painting myself as a normal American kid

I always hated it

High as high as high can loom 

Under the sheets in my bedroom

I was as high as high can get

Always afraid of the normal American kids

Oh bongs and jams and carpeted vans

Hate everything I don’t understand

High times tightening the lid

Had to get away from those normal American kids

Always hated those normal American kids

Always hated those normal American kids

If I Ever Was A Child

I’ve never been alone, long enough to know, if I ever was a child

I was tied up like a boat, unbuttoned like a coat

Set free for a while

 

Well I jumped to jolt my clumsy blood

While my white, green eyes

Cry like a window pane

Can my cold heart change even out of spite?

 

I slump behind my brain 

A haunted stain never fades

I hunt for the kind of pain I can take

And I cry like a window pane

Can my cold heart change over night

So I wont ever want to touch your heart too much 

or hold you too tight

 

I slump behind my brain 

A haunted stain will never fade

I hunt for the kind of pain I can take

 

I never was alone long enough to know if I ever was a child

Cry All Day

I know that I’m unknowing

I’m never totally right

I’m going to walk away slowly

Instead I bid you good night

Another good bye, I’m going to cry

Cry cry cry cry all day

Whatever you’re withholding

I never said it was good

If I could sell it by the dozen

I’d never dare but you would

I know that you would, I’m aware that you could

Cry cry cry cry all day

Cry all night

I had a hole in my heart, I had a “company” me

Kept me whole-y from rolling 

Someone into something like me

Something like me, you don’t want to be

I cry cry cry cry all day

I cry all night

I cry all day

And I cry cry cry cry all day

Cry all night

at the open mic

I sing and I stall

I fall on the knife

However there’s another

Another future to fight

I never took it so seriously 

oh it was serious all right

Watch them all fight, but you can’t fight it

And I’ll cry, cry all day

Cry all night

Cry all day

Cry all night

all day

And now the hounds are calling

I see the world I find

I’m sick of your affliction but you’re just a smart ass and blind

Out of the light

Now be kind

Cry cry cry cry all day 

all night

into the light

into the light

into the light

Wishful Thinking

fill up your mind with all it can know
don’t forget that your body will let it all go
fill up your mind with all it can know
what would we be without wishful thinking?

chambers of chains
with red plastic mouths
the inside of outside
no one has found
how to unring the bell
it’s just as well
the turntable sizzles
the casting of spells
the pressure devices
hell in a nutshell
is any song worth singing if it doesn’t help?

fill up your mind with all it can know
don’t forget that your body can let it all go
fill up your mind with all it can know
’cause what would love be without wishful thinking?

open your arms
as far as they will go
take off your dress
an embarrassing poem was written when I was alone
in love with you
I shook down these lines
to shine up the streets
I got up off my hands and knees
to thank my lucky stars that you’re not me

what would we be without wishful thinking?
what would we be without wishful thinking?
what would we be without wishful thinking?

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Acoustic Baritone 12 String & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Vibes
Mikael Jorgensen Piano & Farfisa Organ
Jim O'Rourke Korg CX-3 Organ

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

I am an American aquarium drinker
I assassin down the avenue
I'm hiding out in the big city blinking
what was I thinking when I let go of you

let's forget about the tongue-tied lightning
let's undress just like cross-eyed strangers
this is not a joke so please stop smiling
what was I thinking when I said it didn't hurt

I want to glide through those brown eyes dreaming
take you from the inside (baby) hold on tight
you were so right when you said I've been drinking
what was I thinking when we said good night

I want to hold you in the bible black predawn
you're quite a quiet domino bury me now
take off your band aid cuz I don't believe in
touchdowns
what was I thinking when we said hello

I always thought that if I held you tightly
you would always love me like you did back then
then I fell asleep in the city kept blinking
what was I thinking when I let you back in

I am trying to break your heart
I am trying to break your heart
but still I'd be lying if I said it wasn't easy
I am trying to break your heart

disposable dixie cup drinker
I assassin down the avenue
I've been hiding out in the big city blinking
what was I thinking when I let go of you

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.

The Joke Explained

I never held your gaze
I never know my place
I stare at the eyes staring at my face It always ends in a tie
There is no knitting the divide
I cry at the joke explained

Ah but if I had known
If I had known
If I had known
I would have never believed

I never smoked my chain
Whoever measures the crest
Ah they can have my broken chest
It's a staring contest, in a hall of mirrors I sweat tears but I don't ever cry

Ah but if I had known
If I had known
If I had known
I would have never believed

I never knelt at the news
My parrot perished in the pews I climb back into the yolk
It always ends in a tie
There is no knitting the divide
I cry at the joke explained

Ah if I had known
If I had known
If I had known
I would have never believed (x3)

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

Someone to Lose

Where you gonna go in your winter coat

I wonder what you’re hiding cause it’s not too cold

It’s already too late

Somebody’s gonna get you

And if I hold you to tight, someone else won’t get to

Ohhhh wouldn’t you know it, I keep it rolling

Considering no one punching a path

Facing the blast and the moon and the math

But you still never know where your soul is attached

Oh, wouldn’t you know it, ah wouldn’t you know it

I’m so confused

I can’t move

I can’t even try

I hope you find 

Someone to lose, someday

Now where you gonna go like a cobra coiled

Sweating in sweater, you’ve got too much style

But you’re never alone, someday they’re gonna get you

I hope you find

Someone to lose, someday

I hope you find

I hope you find 

Someone to lose, someday

Common Sense

When you’re in some bad light 

In the climbing flood 

And you kneel before them

It’s common sense

It’s practical

Lay low

One moment I beg

I bolt

On a thousand legs

What you can’t say swallow

at the moment I’m bored

Buried more and more and more and more

I slam my finger in the door of love

God damn the judging

Stranger judge

All I want, all that I want

A burning bush or

A button to push

A chance encounter 

with common sense

common sense

Bull Black Nova

It’s in my hair
It’s on my clothes
It’s in the river over the road
It’s shining down, my angry star
Hanging on the hood of my car

I’m not going far
I’m not going far

It’s coming down
They’re coming up the shoulders
What have they found?
I wonder if they know
I’m in a bull black Chevy Nova
Silhouetted by the setting sun

This can’t be undone
This can’t be undone

If I’m the one with blood on my sofa
Blood in the sink, blood in the trunk
High at the wheel of a bull black Nova
Then I’m sorry as the setting sun

This can’t be undone
Can’t be outrun

It’s in my head
There’s blood in the sink
I can’t calm down
I can’t think
I keep calling there’s blood in the trunk
I can’t calm down

Pick up
Pick up

The Lonely 1

After the show
You walked right past
Arms reached out
For your autograph

And as you flashed
Your backstage pass
I caught your eye
With a camera's flash

When the band came out
They stood behind you
Cymbals crashed
The lights went blue

You stood alone
In the halo's haze
Shining guitar hung on
Gold lamé
And you
You were the lonely one
You were
The lonely one

When you perform
It's so intense
When the critics pan
I write in your defense

I understand I am just a fan
I'm just a fan

When I get home
I turn off the alarm
I check the phone
No messages on

I play the ones from yesterday
I play your song
Just to hear you say that you
You're the lonely one

You are
The lonely one

You
You're the lonely one
You are the lonely one

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

Far, Far Away

Far, far away
From those city lights
That might be shining on you tonight
Far, far away from you
On the dark side of the room

I long to hold you in my arms and sway
Kiss and ride on the CTA
I need to see you tonight

And those bright lights
Oh, I know it's right
Deep in my heart
I'll know it's right

By the bed
By the light that you read by
By the time

That I get home to say good night
I need to see you again
On the dark side my friend
On the dark side

Nope

Oh I can’t say what qualifies as pain

So transfixed by the wavering flame

Mortal kings of each grade and grain erased

Oh I’m blessed

The slant may rain knows my door

Tambourines my floor in four

Laughs and shakes my folded face where Jesus mowed my lawn

Fame has legs, blazing chrome

Amputate but it’s never quite gone

Rakes in clover shown like snakes shine over rate my crime

Why kill a man when you can drive him crazy

Why make it end when my amusement always depends on the joke

Won’t you lend me my punchline

As a favor, can you be entertained so that

day I can savor whatever remains

Of hurricanes too rattled to romance massive plates of circumstances

Theologians

theologians don’t know nothing
about my soul
about my soul

I’m an ocean
and this emotion
slow motion, slow motion

illiterati lumen fedei
god is with us everyday
that illiterate light
is with us every night

theologians they don’t know nothing
about my soul
oh they don’t know

they thin my heart with little things
and my life with change
in so many ways
I find more missing every day

theologians

I’m going away
where you will look for me
where I’m going you cannot come
no one’s ever gonna take my life from me
I lay it down
a ghost is born
a ghost is born
a ghost is born

I am a notion
I am all emotion
I am a cherry ghost

Instrumental Credits


Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Acoustic Guitar
Mikael Jorgensen Piano
Jim O'Rourke Piano

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

Locator

Locator sees me swaying through the catacombs

Locator hears me whispering in my home

Even when the waves are falling, beating me into diamonds

Even when the wheels are whining

Even when the wheels are whining, something in the sky can find me

I x8, hide x8

Here below x4

Oh no, Locator it is I

 

Even when I run I’m crawling

Even through the walls and blinds and 

Even when the wheels are whining x3

something in the sky can find me

I x8, hide x8

Here below x4

I love Locator everywhere I go

I tell Locator everything it wants to know

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

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

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

We Aren't the World (Safety Girl)

Have you seen any mention

It’s been quiet in detention all week

Is that so?

I saw the winter party person candidate, give a sermon 

Shook his fist, like this.

Is that so?

And everyone sat as blank as a cake and in love 

like a stupid lump of clay

Is that so?

I know a good Armageddon might have made my day, that day

Is that so?

We aren’t the world

We aren’t the children

But you’re my safety girl

And you know we could go spend ourselves like money

Let’s pretend we’re hundred dollar bills

Is that so?

And complain everyday there’s a spider in my soup

Tired of my opinion, like everybody else

Is that so?

We aren’t the world

We aren’t the children

But you’re my safety girl

Like so

Is that so?

We aren’t the world

We aren’t the children

But you’re my safety girl

The Late Greats

The greatest lost track of all-time
The Late Greats’ Turpentine
you can’t hear it on the radio
can’t hear it anywhere you go

The best band will never get signed
The Kay-Settes starring Butchers Blind
so good you won’t ever know
they never even played a show
can’t hear ’em on the radio

the greatest singer in rock ’n’ roll
would have to be Romeo
his vocal chords are made of gold
he just looks a little too old

the best songs will never get sung
the best life never leaves your lungs
so good you won’t even know
you’ll never hear it on the radio
can’t hear it on the radio

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums & Hammer Dulcimer
Leroy Bach Piano
Mikael Jorgensen Piano & Farfisa Organ
Jim O'Rourke Electric Guitar

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

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

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

Pickled Ginger

Alone in the zone of the sad
Where no one gives a zig to the zag
I'll never let you rot
I'll never bet you don't know
Some might glisten the knot
I'll never let it show

I know when I'm towing the drag
Where no one gives a zig to the zag
I might have to let you rot
I'm sad to let you go
I can't remember the night
I know what I'll never know
No one tells me how to behave
I'm mowing and I'm growing the grave

No one tells me how to be saved
I'll know till I go to my grave

I'll never let you rot
I'll never bet you don't know
Some might glisten the knot
I'll never let it show

I'll going to let it rot
You'll never guess what's below
Some might glisten the knot
I'll never let it show

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

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

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