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

Muzzle Of Bees

there’s a random painted highway
and a muzzle of bees
my sleeves have come unstitched
from climbing your tree

when dogs laugh some say they’re barking
I don’t think they’re mean
some people get so frightened
the fences in between

the sun gets passed from tree to tree
silently
then back to me
with a breeze blown through
pushed up against the sea
finally back to me

I’m assuming you got my message
on your machine
I’m assuming you love me
and you know what that means

the sun gets passed from sea to sea
silently
and back to me
with a breeze blown through
pushed up above the leaves
with a breeze blowing through
my head upon your knee

half of it’s you
half is me

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

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.

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

At Least That's What You Said

when I sat down on the bed next to you
you started to cry
I said maybe if I leave you’ll want me
to come back home
or maybe all you mean
is leave me alone

at least that’s what you said

you’re irresistable when you get mad
isn’t it sad I’m immune
and I thought it was cute
for you to kiss
my purple black-eye
even though I caught it from you
I still think we’re serious

at least that’s what you said...

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals & Electric Guitar
John Stirratt Bass
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Piano
Mikael Jorgensen Synthesizer
Jim O'Rourke End Piano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor Places

it’s my father's voice trailing off
sailors sailing off in the morning
for the air conditioned rooms
at the top of the stairs

his jaw's been broken
his bandage is wrapped too tight
his fangs have been pulled
and I really want to see you tonight

there's bourbon on the breath
of the singer you love so much
he takes all his words from the books
you don't read anyway

his jaw's been broken
his bandage is wrapped too tight
his fangs have been pulled
and I really want to see you tonight

someone ties a bow
in my backyard to show me love
my voice is climbing walls
smoking and I want love

my jaw's been broken
my heart is wrapped in ice
my fangs have been pulled
and I really want to see you tonight

it makes no difference to me
how they cried all over overseas
when it's hot in the poor places tonight
I'm not going outside

they cried all over overseas it makes no difference to me
when it's hot in the poor places tonight
I'm not going outside

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

One By One

One by one the teardrops fall as I write you
One by one my words come falling on the page
One by one my dreams are fading in the twilight
One by one my schemes are fading fast away

One by one the flowers fade here in my garden
One by one the leaves are falling from the trees
One by one my hopes are vanished in the clouds clear
One by one like snowflakes melting in the breeze

One by one my hair is turning gray
One by one my dreams are fading fast away
One by one I read your letters over
One by one I lay them all away

One by one the days are slipping up behind you
One by one the sweetest days of life go by
One by one the moments stealing up behind you
One by one she'll come and find not you or I

One by one I hear the soft words that you whispered
One by one I feel your kisses soft and sweet
One by one I hope you'll say the words to marry
One by one to one by one forever be

Words: Woody Guthrie 1939
Music: Jeff Tweedy 1997
Jay Bennett: piano, organ
Ken Coomer: drums
Bog Egan: pedal steel
John Stirratt: electric bass
Jeff Tweedy: acoustic guitar, vocal

Forget the Flowers

You're trying my patience, try pink carnations
Red roses and yellow daffodils
Don't forget the flowers, someday, I know you will

Displayers of affection and all good intentions
Why don't you just send me the bill
Don't forget the flowers, someday, I know you will

Lately you've been taking me
Way too seriously, oooh
I can't ever explain why
I don't feel your pain, oooh

I left you behind, I know it's been a long time
But I'm not over you
Don't forget the flowers, someday, I hope I do

You're tryin' my patience, try pink carnations
Red roses and yellow daffodils
Don't forget the flowers, someday
I know I will

Don't forget the flowers, someday
I know I will

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

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

Red-Eyed and Blue

We've got solid-state technology
Tapes on the floor
Some songs we can't afford to play

When we came here today
All I wanted to say
Is how much I miss you

Alcohol and cotton balls
And some drugs
We can’t afford on the way

When we came here today
We all felt something true
Now I'm red-eyed and blue

I Got You (At the End of the Century)

I got you and that's all I need
I got you and that's all I need
I got you and that's all I need
I got you

I got you and I still believe
That you are all I will ever need
It's you, oh

All the way back in the seventies
You were my little TV queen
Guitarzan and friend Janine
I got you

I got you and I still believe
That you are all I will ever need
It's you, oh

It's the end of the century
And I can't think of anything
Except you

It's the end of the century
And I can't think of anything
But you, oh

All, I, need

I got you
I got you
I got you

Kicking Television

Casino Queen

Well the money's pouring down
And the people all look down
And it's floating out of town

I hit the second deck
And I spent my paycheck
And my wife that I just met
She's looking like a wreck

Casino Queen
My lord you're mean
I've been gambling like a fiend
On your tables so green

I always bet on black
Blackjack
I'll pay you back

The room fills with smoke
And I'm already broke
And the dealer keeps on joking
As he takes my last token
Casino Queen
My lord you're mean
I've been gambling like a fiend
On your tables so green

Casino Queen
My lord you're mean
I've been gambling like a fiend
On your tables so green

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

Outta Mind (Outta Sight)

Well I know we don't talk much
But you're such a good talker
Ooh, whoa

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

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

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
Well that's okay with me
Well alright

I know where I'll be tonight
Well alright
Outta mind outta sight
Outta mind outta sight

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

Well look out
Here I come again
And I'm bringing my friends

I said, look out
Here I come again
And I'm bringing my friends
Okay, alright, okay, alright

I know where I'll be tonight
Well alright

Well outta mind outta sight
Outta mind outta sight
Outta mind outta sight

Well alright
That's quite alright
I know you don't love me
I know you don't love me anymore, alright
I know you