Wilco

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

Hell is Chrome

when the devil came
he was not red
he was chrome and he said
come with me

you must go so I went
where every thing was clean
so precise and towering

I was welcomed with open arms
I received so much help in every way
I felt no fear
I felt no fear

the air was crisp
like sunny late-winter days
springtime yawning high in the haze
and I felt like I belong
come with me

come with me
come with me

Instrumental Credits


Jeff Tweedy Vocals & Electric Lead Guitar
John Stirratt Electric Guitar & Background Vocals
Glenn Kotche Drums
Leroy Bach Korg CX-3 Organ
Mikael Jorgensen Piano
Jim O'Rourke Bass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Less Than You Think

your mind’s a machine
it’s deadly and dull
it’s never been still and its will has never been free
lightly tapping
a high-pitched drum

and as your spine starts to shine
you shiver at your soul
a fist so clear and climbing
punches a hole in the sky
so you can see for yourself
if you don’t believe me

there’s so much less to this than you think

it’s almost gone
the night is dissolving
in a cup god lifts to toast the lightning
lightly tapping
high pitched and it hums

your spine starts to shine
and you shiver at your soul
a fist so clear and climbing
punches a hole in the sky
so you can see for yourself
if you don’t believe me
there’s so much less to this than you think

Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy Vocals, 6 String Acoustic Bass, Loops, Filters & Synths
John Stirratt Acoustic Guitar, Loops, Filters & Synths
Glenn Kotche Drums, Hammer Dulcimer, Loops, Filters & Synths
Leroy Bach Acoustic Guitar, Loops, Filters & Synths
Mikael Jorgensen Serge Modular Synthesizer
Jim O'Rourke Loops, Filters & Synths

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

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

New Madrid [Uncle Tupelo]

Remember the Mountain Bed

Do you still sing of the mountain bed we made of
limbs and leaves: Do you still sigh there near the
sky where the holly berry bleeds: You laughed as I
covered you over with leaves, face, breast, hips
and thighs, You smiled when I said the leaves
were just the color of your eyes.

Rosin smells and turpentine smells from
eucalyptus and pine Bitter tastes of twigs we
chewed where tangled woodvines twine Trees held
us in on all four sides so thick we could not see I
could not see any wrong in you, and you saw none
in me.

Your arm was brown against the ground, your
cheeks part of the sky, As your fingers played with
grassy moss, and limber you did lie: Your stomach
moved beneath your shirt and your knees were in
the air Your feet played games with mountain
roots as you lay thinking there.

Below us the trees grew clumps of trees, raised
families of trees, and they As proud as we tossed
their heads in the wind and flung good seeds
away: The sun was hot and the sun was bright
down in the valley below Where people starved
and hungry for life so empty come and go.

There in the shade and hid from the sun we freed
our minds and learned Our greatest reason for
being here, our bodies moved and burned There
on our mountain bed of leaves we learned life's
reason why The People laugh and love and dream,
they fight, they hate to die.

The smell of your hair I know is still there, if most
of our leaves are blown, Our words still ring in the
brush and the trees where singing seeds are sown
Your shape and form is dim, but plain, there on
our mountain bed I see my life was brightest
where you laughed and laid you head...

I learned the reason why man must work and how
to dream big dreams, To conquer time and space
and fight the rivers and the seas I stand here filled
with my emptiness now and look at city and land
And I know why farms and cities are built by hot,
warm, nervous hands.

I crossed many states just to stand here now, my
face all hot with tears, I crossed city, and valley,
desert, and stream, to bring my body here: My
history and future blaze bright in me and all my joy
and pain Go through my head on our mountain
bed where I smell your hair again.

All this day long I linger here and on in through
the night My greeds, desires, my cravings, hopes,
my dreams inside me fight: My loneliness healed,
my emptiness filled, I walk above all pain Back to
the breast of my woman and child to scatter my
seeds again.

Published by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. (BMI)/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing
Corp./Words-Ampersand Music (BMI)/You Want A Piece Of This Music (ASCAP),
administered by Bug Music

Words: Woody Guthrie 1944
Music: Jeff Tweedy/Jay Bennett 1999
Leroy Bach: piano
Jay Bennett: organ, nylon-string guitar, backing vocal
Ken Coomer: drums
John Stirratt: bass, backing vocal
Jeff Tweedy: vocal, 12-string acoustic guitar

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

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

Kingpin

I wanna be your kingpin
Living in Pekin

I wanna be your bigwig
Living in Pekin

I got the flu and away I flew
N.Y.C.P.D. blue
Dimatap and spinal tap
City maps and hand claps

Statue of Liberty play
It only works once
Don't throw it away

’Cause I wanna be your kingpin
Living in Pekin

Living in

Pekin
Living in

How can I
How can I give my love to you when
I don't know what to do

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

Kicking Television

(Don't Fear) The Reaper