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

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

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

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.

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

One Wing

We once belonged to a bird
We cast a shadow on this world
You were a blessing, and I was a curse
I did my best not to make things worse
For you

That isn’t true
I always knew this would be your fate
This is what happens when wings separate
This happens to all dead weight
Eventually

We may as well be made of stone
We can’t be flown
One wing will never fly
Neither yours nor mine, I fear
We can only wave goodbye

One wing will never ever fly
Neither yours nor mine
One wing will never ever fly, dear
Neither yours nor mine, I fear
We can only wave goodbye

One wing will never ever fly, dear
Neither yours nor mine, I fear
We can only wave goodbye

Bye, bye
Bye, bye
Bye, bye
Bye, bye

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

I'll Fight

I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go
I’ll go for you
I’ll fight, I’ll fight, I’ll fight
I’ll fight for you
I’ll kill, I’ll kill, I’ll  kill
I’ll kill for you
I will, I will, I will

I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go
I’ll go for you
I’ll fight, I’ll fight, I’ll fight
I’ll fight for you
I’ll die, I’ll die, I’ll die
I’ll die for you
I will, I will, I will

And if I die, I’ll die, I’ll die alone
On some forgotten hill
Abandoned by the mill
All my blood will spring and spill
I’ll thrash the air, then be still

You’ll wake with a start from a dream
And know that I am gone
You’ll feel it in your heart but not for very long

You’ll rise each day as planned
Your will as your command
And stand each Sunday
A hymnal steady in your hand

And you’ll sing to yourself the rising,
falling melody
That you could never read
Without the choir’s lead
Still alone and lost indeed
And your soul will not be free

I will go, I will go, I will go
Into war’s waters, I will wade
And I will know without remorse
Or regret the fairness of our trade

For you to live, I took your place
A deal was made and I was paid
And in gold as I was told
With a place where my body could be laid

You will steer your life and die old in bed at home
Surrounded by your peers
Without suffering or fear
Grandchildren far and near
And none will shed a tear
For their love no longer here

I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go
I’ll go for you
I will
I’ll fight, I’ll fight, I’ll fight
I’ll fight for you
I will, I will, I will

I’ll kill, I’ll kill, I’ll kill
I’ll kill for you
I will
I’ll die, I’ll die, I’ll die
I’ll die for you
I will, I will, I will

And if I die
I’ll die, I’ll die alone
Like Jesus on the cross
My faith cannot be tossed
My life will not be lost
If my love comes across

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

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

Airline to Heaven

There's an airline plane Flies to Heaven every day
Past them pearly gates If you want to ride this
train Have your ticket in your hand Before it is too
late. If the world looks wrong And your money's
spent and gone And your friend has turned away
You can get away to Heaven On this aeroplane
Just bow your head and pray.

Them's got ears let them hear Them's got eyes let
them see Turn Your Eyes to the Lord of the skies
Take that airline Plane It will Take You Home again.
Yes, to your home behind the skies.

Well, a lot of people guess Some say no and some
say Yes Will it take some and leave some behind?
But you will surely know When to the airport go To
leave this world behind

Oh, a lot of speakers speak And a lot of preachers
preach When you lay their salary on the line But to
bow your head and pray Is the only earthly way
That you can fly to Heaven on time. That you can
reach Heaven on time.

Your ticket you obtain On this heavenly airline
plane You leave your sins behind You have got to
take this flight Might be daytime, might be night,
But you can't see your way if you're blind

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 1939
Music: Jay Bennett/Jeff Tweedy 1997
Jay Bennett: 12-string acoustic slide guitars, backing vocals, shakers, saw, claps
John Stirratt: backing vocals, claps
Jeff Tweedy: vocal, acoustic guitar, Mellotrone, claps

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

Walken

I’m walking
All by myself
I was talking to myself about you
What am I going to do

I was singing
This song about you
I was thinking about singing
This song for you

The more I think about it
The more I know it’s true
The more I think about it
The more I’m sure it’s you
Honey I think you’re just right
You’re just right

I was walking
Like I said by myself
I was talking
To myself about you
Like I always do

The more I think about it
The more I know it’s true
The more I think about it
The more I’m sure it’s you
Honey, I think you’re just right
You’re just right

Written by Tweedy and Wilco
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – bass
Glenn Kotche – drums
Mikael Jorgensen – piano, Hammond B3 organ
Nels Cline – lap steel
Pat Sansone – electric guitar

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

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

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

Hate It Here

I try to stay busy
I do the dishes, I mow the lawn
I try to keep myself occupied
Even though I know you’re not coming home

I try to keep the house nice and neat
I make my bed I change the sheets
I even learned how to use the washing machine
But keeping things clean doesn’t change anything

What am I gonna do when I run out of shirts to fold?
What am I gonna do when I run out of lawn to mow?
What am I gonna do if you never come home?
Tell me, what am I gonna do?

I hate it
I hate it here
When you’re gone

I caught myself thinking
I caught myself thinking once again
Have to try to keep my mind out of this
Try not to pretend

I’ll check the phone
I’ll check the mail
I’ll check the phone again and I call your mom
She says you’re not there and I should take care

I hate it here
When you’re gone
I hate it
I hate it here
When you’re gone

I try to stay busy
I take out the trash, I sweep the floor
Try to keep myself occupied
Cause I know you don’t live here anymore

Written by Tweedy and Wilco
Instrumental Credits
Jeff Tweedy – vocals, electric guitar
John Stirratt – bass, 8-string bass
Glenn Kotche – drums
Mikael Jorgensen – piano
Nels Cline – electric gutiar
Pat Sansone – Wurlitzer
Jim O’Rourke – percussion

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

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

Hoodoo Voodoo

Hoodoo voodoo, seven twenty one two
Haystacka hostacka, A B C
High poker, low joker, ninety nine a zero
Sidewalk, streetcar, dance a goofy dance

Blackbirdy, bluejay; one two three four,
Trash sack, jump back E F G,
Biggy hat, little hat, fattyman, skinnyman,
Grasshopper, greensnake, hold my hand

Hoodoo voodoo, chooka chooky choochoo,
True blue, how true, kissle me now

Momma cat, Tommy cat, diapers on my clothes line
Two four six eight, I run and hide
Pretty girl, pretty boy, pony on a tincan,
I'll be yours and you'll be mine

Jinga jangler, tingalingle,
picture on a bricky wall
Hot and scamper, foamy lather, huggle me close
Hot breeze, old cheese,
slicky slacky fishy tails
Brush my hair and kissle me some more

Published by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. [BMI]/Warner-
Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Words-Ampersand Music
[BMI]/Titanic Majesties Music [ASCAP]/Poeyfarre Songs
[BMI]/500 Ft. Toe Music [BMI]/BMG Songs/Koolhot Muzik [ASCAP]

Words: Woody Guthrie  [no date]
Music: Wilco/Bragg/Harris
Jay Bennett: organ, Farfisa bass pedals
Billy Bragg: electric guitar
Ken Coomer: drums
Corey Harris: electric guitar
John Stirratt: electric bass, piano [bass]
Jeff Tweedy: vocal