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

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

Company In My Back

I attack with love, pure bug beauty, curl my lips and crawl up to you
I attack with love, pure bug beauty, curl my lips and crawl up to you
and your afternoon
and I’ve been puking

I move so slow, steady crushing hand; holy shit! there’s a company in my back
I move so slow, steady crushing hand; holy shit! there’s a company in my back

hide your soft skin; your sorrow is sunshine; listen to my eyes
hide your soft skin; your sorrow is sunshine; listen to my eyes
they are hissing radiator tunes

I move so slow, steady crushing hand; holy shit! there’s a company in my back
I move so slow, steady crushing hand; holy shit! there’s a company in my back

you learn so slow, old radiant beauty; I’ll curve my flight
you learn so slow, old radiant beauty; I’ll curve my flight
under your bended knee
and I will always die
I will always die
I will always die, so you can remember me

I move so slow, steady crushing hand; holy shit! there’s a company in my back
I move so slow, steady crushing hand; holy shit! there’s a company in my back
there’s a company in my back

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums, Hammer Dulcimer & Percussion
Leroy Bach Piano & Korg CX-3 Organ
Mikael Jorgensen Fenix Modular Synthesizer & Stylophone
Jim O'Rourke Acoustic Guitar

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)

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

Pot Kettle Black

crazy rides rockets
waves a magic wand
empty out your pockets
words without a song

I myself have found a real rival in myself

I am hoping for the rearrival of my health

sleeping eye sockets
baby suck your thumb
I'll keep you in my locket
a string I never strum

It's become so obvious
you are so oblivious to yourself

I'm tied in a knot
but I'm not
gonna get caught
calling a pot kettle black
every song's a comeback
every moment's a little bit later

lazy locomotives
wherever you may roll
I think you have no motive
I know you have no home

It's become so obvious
you are so oblivious to yourself

I'm tied in a knot
but I'm not
gonna get caught
calling a pot kettle black
every song's a comeback
every moment's a little bit later

Either Way

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will blow away
Maybe I won’t feel so afraid
I will try to understand
Either way

Maybe you still love me
Maybe you don’t
Either you will or you won’t
Maybe you just need some time alone
I will try to understand
Everything has its plan
Either way
I’m gonna stay
Right for you

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will roll away
Maybe I won’t be so afraid
I will understand everything has its plan
Either way

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

War On War

it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
it's a war on war
there's a war on
you’re gonna lose
you have to lose
you have to learn how to die

let's watch the miles flying by
let's watch the miles flying by
you are not my typewriter
but you could be my demon
moving forward through flaming doors
you have to lose
you have to learn how to die
if you wanna wanna be alive

o.k.

you have to lose
you have to lose
you have to learn how to die
if you wanna wanna be alive

you have to die
you have to die
you have to learn how to die
if you wanna wanna be alive

Reservations

how can I convince you it's me I don't like
not be so indifferent to the look in your eyes
when I've always been distant
and I've always told lies
for love

I'm bound by these choices so hard to
make
I'm bound by the feeling so easy to fake
none of this is real
enough to take me
from you

O I've got reservations
about
so many things
but
not about you

I know this isn't what you were wanting me
to say
how can I get closer and be further away
from the truth
that proves it's beautiful
to lie

I've got reservations
about
so many things
but
not about you
I…reservations
about
so many things
but
not about you

not about you
not about you
not about you
it's not about you

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

Pick Up the Change

If it's just your heart talking, I don't mind
If you wanna call me darling, that's just fine, that's just fine
But if it's your mind that's wandering, it'll fall in line
When I kiss your cheek dear, every time, every time

We used to have a lot of things in common
But you know now we're just the same
You always had more than I really wanted
Aw honey, help me
Aw honey, help me pick up the change

If it's just your heart talking, I'll listen every time
Dear, you can talk my ear off, anytime, anytime
But if my mind starts wandering, it won't be gone long
Whenever I hear your heart talking, it's a song, it's a song

We used to have a lot of things in common
But you know now we're just the same
You always had more than I really wanted
Aw honey, help me
Come on honey, help me pick up
Aw honey, help me pick up the change

Aw honey, help me
Come on honey, help me pick up
Aw honey, help me pick up the change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We've Been Had

Christ for President

Let's have Christ our president.
Let us have him for our king.
Cast your vote for the carpenter
that you call the Nazarene.

The only way we can ever beat
these crooked politician men
Is to run the money changers out of the temple
And put the Carpenter in

O It's Jesus Christ our president
God above our king
With a job and pension for young and old
We will make hallelujah ring

Every year we waste enough
to feed the ones who starve
We build our civilization up
and we shoot it down with wars

But with the Carpenter on the seat
away up in the capitol town
The USA would be on the way prosperity bound!
Published by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc./Warner-Tamerlane Publishing
Corp./Words-Ampersand Music [BMI]/Titanic Majesties Music [ASCAP]

Words: Woody Guthrie [no date]
Music: Jeff Tweedy/Jay Bennett 1997
Jay Bennett: banjo, piano, clavinet
Billy Bragg: National guitar
Ken Coomer: drums and percussion
John Stirratt: acoustic bass, bass pedals
Jeff Tweedy: acoustic guitar, 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