Wilco

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shouldn't Be Ashamed

To live without a savior
Answer to his name
Shouldn't be afraid
Shouldn't be ashamed

Like a kid behind the counter
Remembering your name
Shouldn't be afraid
Shouldn't be ashamed

'Cause if it's not like I told ya
Then it's still your call
You should live how you want
Stay with me
We should stay apart
Just shouldn't ever have to be this hard

Like a man on the sidewalk
Remembering your face
Shouldn't look away
Shouldn't be afraid

He remembers when they still wore gaiters
World war one
Shouldn't be afraid
Shouldn't be ashamed

'Cause if it's not like I told ya
Then it's still your call
You should live how you want
Stay with me
We should stay apart
Just shouldn't ever have to be this hard

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

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

Laminated Cat (aka Not For The Season)

springtime comes
and the leaves are back
on the trees again
snipers are harder to see
(my friends)
weeding out the weekends

summer comes
and gravity undoes you
you're happy because
of the lovely way the sunshine bends
hiding from your close friends
weeding out the weekends

candy left over from halloween
a unified theory of everything
love left over from lovers leaving
books they all know
they're not worth reading

it's not for the season

when autumn comes
you sit in your chair
and you stare
at the tv square
hiding in the deep end
weeding out the weekends

winter comes
and the days all start late
there's motion on the boughs
where the dark shapes prowl
feeling all the feeling
feeling out the feeling

candy left over from halloween
a unified theory of everything
love left over from lovers leaving
books they all know
they're not worth reading

they're not worth reading

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

Hesitating Beauty

For your sparkling cocky smile
I have walked a million miles
Begging you to come wed me in the Spring
Why do you my dear delay,
what makes you laugh and turn away?
You're a hesitating beauty, Nora Lee

Well I know that you are itching to get married,
Nora Lee
And I know I am twitching for the same thing,
Nora Lee
By the stars and clouds above,
we can spend our lives in love
You're a hesitating beauty, Nora Lee

We can build a house and home
where the flowers come to bloom
Around our yard I'll nail a fence so high
That the boys with peeping eyes
cannot see that angel face
Of my hesitating beauty, Nora Lee

We can ramble hand in hand
across the grasses of our land
I'll kiss you for each leaf on every tree
We can bring our kids to play
where the dry winds blow today
If you’ll quit your hesitating, Nora Lee

Words: Woody Guthrie 1949
Music: Jeff Tweedy 1997
Jay Bennett: piano, electric guitar, backing vocal
Billy Bragg: electric guitar
Ken Coomer: drums
John Stirratt: electric bass
Jeff Tweedy: lead vocal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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