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

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

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

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

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

Sunken Treasure

There's rows and rows of houses
With windows painted blue
With the light from a TV
Running parallel to you

But there is no sunken treasure
Rumored to be
Wrapped inside my ribs
In a sea black with ink

I am so
Out of tune
With you

I am so out of tune
With you

If I had a mountain
I'd try to fold it over
If I had a boat (probably roll over)
You know I'd probably roll over (leave it on the shore),

And I leave it on the shore (leave it for somebody),
I'd leave it for somebody
Surely there's somebody
Who needs it more than me

I am so
Out of tune
With you

I am so out of tune
With you

For all the leaves we burn
In autumn fires and then return
For all the fires we burn
All will return

Music is my savior
I was maimed by rock and roll
I was maimed by rock and roll
I was tamed by rock and roll
I got my name from rock and roll

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

Via Chicago

I dreamed about killing you again last night
And it felt alright to me
Dying on the banks of Embarcadero skies
I sat and watched you bleed
Buried you alive in a fireworks display
Raining down on me
Your cold, hot blood ran away from me
To the sea

I printed my name on the back of a leaf
And I watched it float away
The hope I had in a notebook full of white, dry pages
Was all I tried to save
But the wind blew me back via Chicago
In the middle of the night
And all without fight
At the crush of veils and starlight
I know I'll make it back
One of these days and turn on your TV
To watch a man with a face like mine
Being chased down a busy street
When he gets caught I won't get up
And I won't go to sleep
I'm coming home, I'm coming home
Via Chicago

Where the cups are cracked and hooked
Above the sink
They make me think
Crumbling ladder tears don't fall
They shine down your shoulders
Crawling is screw faster lash
I blow it with kisses
Rest my head on a pillowy star
And a cracked door moon
Says I haven't gone too far

I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Via Chicago
Searching for a home
Searching for a home
Via Chicago

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, synthesizers
Jay Bennett – banjo, piano, organ, moog, tambourine
John Stirratt – bass
Ken Coomer – drums

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

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

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

Box Full of Letters

I've got a box full of letters
I think you might like to read
Some things that you might like to see
But they're all addressed to me

I wish I had a lotta answers
'Cause that's the way it should be
For all these questions
Being directed at me

I just can't find the time

To write my mind
The way I want it to read

You'll come back again
And I'll still be your friend

I got a lot of your records
In a separate stack
Some things that I might like to hear, but I
Guess I'll give 'em back

I wish I had a lotta answers
'Cause that's the way it should be
For all these questions
Being directed at me

Just can't find the time
To write my mind
The way I want it to read

You'll come back again
And I'll still be your friend

I can't find the time
To write my mind
The way I want it to read

Just can't find the time
To write my mind
The way I want it to read

Instrumental credits:
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, guitar
John Stirratt – bass, vocals
Max Johnston – dobro
Ken Coomer – drums
Brian Henneman – guitars

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

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

Random Name Generator

Com'on listen to the weed whistle way
I belong to the stars in the day
I ran away eternal instigator
I was cold
I remember the Milky Way why I belong to the stars in the sky
Random name generator (x4)

You don't know me cold as night
Somebody hold me in the diamond light
Narrator Mr. narrator
I want to name every new born child
A miracle only ever grows wild
Invisible
Instigator
Random name generator
I kind of like it when I make you cry
A miracle only once in a while
Random name random name generator
I change my name every once in a while
A miracle every once in a while
I create
I am the flame, a flame creator Random name generator

Com'on cuff me to the weed whistle whine
If I miss your breeze will you miss mine
I kind of like it when I make you cry
A miracle every once in a while
Com'on cuff me to the weed whistle whine I think I miss my family fine

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

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

Monday

Choo-choo Charlie had a plenty good band
But he couldn't understand why no one would go
The World Record Players on a tour of Japan
Charlie's fixing his van with a left arm tan

He said

Monday, I'm all high
Get me out of FLA
In school, yeah
I fooled ya
Now I know I made a mistake
Blister on a turnpike, let me by
I only want to wonder why when I don't die
Oooh, I shot ya, yeah, I know
I only want to go where my wheels roll

Monday, I'm all high
Get me out of FLA
I fooled ya
In school, yeah
Now I know I made a mistake

Everybody's wondering, "Where'd he go?"
He must be down in Pensacola
Hiding from the snow

The World Record Players on a tour of Japan
Charlie's fixing his van
He's waiting for a postcard

And he said
Monday, I'm all high
Get me out of TLA

Well I cut class
In school, yeah
Now I know I made a mistake
I made a big mistake

Outtasite (Outta Mind)

I know we don't talk much
But you're such a good talker
Oh-whoa

Well I know we should take a walk
But you're such a fast walker, oh-whoa,
Well alright

I know where I'll be tonight, alright
Outta mind outta site

Well okay
I know you don't love me
But you'll still be thinking of me, oh-whoa

Well alright
I know you probably hate me
That's okay with me
Alright!

I know where I'll be tonight, alright
Outta mind outta site
Outta mind outta site

You don't see me now
You don't want to anyhow

Look out
Here I come again
And I'm bringing my friends

Look out
Here I come again
I'm bringing my friends
Okay, alright, okay alright!

I know where I'll be tonight, alright

Outta mind outta site
Outta mind outta si-ite
Outta mind outta si-i-i-ite