Wilco

I Am My Mother

Dangerous dreams have been detected
Streaming over the southern border

As bad as it seems it’s worse than expected
Fleeing through the night corridor

Oh I’ve done the math
With a stick in the sand
I’ve kicked the can
Into a dead end

Oh I can’t mend
Every broken fence
I’m a new man
But I am still my mother

If it was up to me I would have rejected
The idea that money could keep you poor

And as dark as it seems it’s worse than neglected
When you need the one who loves no more

Oh I’ve done the math
With a stick in the sand
I’ve kicked the can
Into a dead end

Oh I can’t mend
Every broken fence
I’m a new man
But I am still my mother
written by Jeff Tweedy

Cruel Country

I love my country like a little boy
Red
White
And blue

I love my country stupid and cruel
Red
White
And blue

All you have to do is sing in the choir
Kill yourself every once in a while
And sing in the choir

All you have to do is sing in the choir
Set yourself on fire every once in a while
And sing in the choir
With me
With me

I love my country like a little child
Red
White
And blue

I love my country stupid and cruel
Red
White
And blue

All you have to do is sing in the choir
All you have to do is sing in the choir
All you have to do is sing in the choir
With me
With me

written by: Jeff Tweedy

Hints

Do you remember when we would forget?
When we were, I guess, an empty continent?

We stretched our necks to hear below the decks
But our fears were never real enough so we would just project

There is no middle when the other side
Would rather kill than compromise
There is no middle when the other side
Would rather kill than compromise

Adjust your eyes to the light
Let them roll with pride
Focus your mind on the fight
And keep your hand in mine

In the hills a holiness already happening
Rivers rounding ridges in our fingerprints
A love too big to see us overpowering
And ever since heaven sends us sacraments with subtle hints

There is no middle when the other side
Would rather kill than compromise
There is no middle when the other side
Would rather kill than compromise

Adjust your eyes to the light
Let them roll with pride
Focus your mind on the fight
And keep your hand in mine

Do you remember when we would forget?
When we were, I guess, an empty continent?

We stretched our necks to hear below the decks
But our fears were never real enough so we would just project

Adjust your eyes to the light
Let them roll with pride
Focus your mind on the fight
And keep your hand in mine

written by Jeff Tweedy

Ambulance

Once just by chance
I made a friend in an ambulance
I was half man half broken glass
She had a needle but I wasn’t afraid

I’d slap the cuffs right on my wrists
I’d get so high I’d arrest myself
For honeysuckle on a buckle
Broken teeth biting on my belt

High in a trance
My life smeared right past
In a blue light
I thought she was dancing
But she was just holding my cold hand

Cause everything can shine
Even the devil sometimes
And while I was busy dying
My lord she made some other plan

Traveling salesmen carrying trunks
You can smell them coming like skunks
In the distance, if your eyes can focus
That’s how God once spoke to us

Trying not to laugh
They pronounced me dead at half past
And that priest he pissed his pants
When he heard me start to say hello

Everything can shine
Even the devil sometimes
While I was busy dying
My lord she made some other plan

written by Jeff Tweedy

The Empty Condor

Bad behavior
Better than yours
Boiling over
Boiling up

Leading where
Peaches disagree
Rotting beneath the trees

Wait ‘til later
Working it out
Tell me later
What it’s about

Being where
Peaches disagree
Rotting beneath the leaves

Dead
Relatives

I could never name them all
The Empty Condor
Drifting towards
The shore

written by Jeff Tweedy

Tonight's the Day

Between good and bad
And what is true
Between happy
And sad
I choose you

Patty whispered across the table
“I think we’re being watched.
You said we were invisible.
Tell the waiter, the sun’s in my soup.
And sooner or later my face will be too.”

It’s up to you
Tonight’s the day

Between happy and sad
And true
Between good and bad
There’s always you

“Who’s running the trains over the gardens?”
Inside the window panes
The last stand of sugar cane

It’s up to me
Tonight’s the day

We all beg for forgiveness
At the end of the day
Between hard and easy
Surrender and escape
I heard you say
There is no way
It’s the only way

written by Jeff Tweedy

All Across The World

In a hurricane's eye
People get by
Living their lives
All across the world

It’s combustible
Inarguable
It’s dangerous
All across the world

You better move
You better move
Out of my way
I’m wrapping my
Arms around this day
‘Cause I can see
What other people go through
And I wonder if
I bet it would
Kill me or you

I’ve seen too much
It’s hard to watch
People get lost
All across the world

They’re sick and sad
I’m sorry I’m glad
I’m where I am
All across the world

What’s a song
What’s a song
Going to do
When I want to touch
My hand to your shoulder
What good am I
What good can I do
When I can barely stand
Knowing what’s true

You better move
You better move
Out of my way
I’m wrapping my
Arms around this day
‘Cause I can see
What other people go through
And I wonder if
I bet it would
Kill me or you

In a hurricane's eye
People die
Just living their lives
All across the world

written by Jeff Tweedy

Darkness Is Cheap

Look at this guitar
I could tear it apart
Leave it like a heart
Crying for more

High on a cloud
High on a cloud
High on a cloud
Where you are

A canyon is not deep
Until falls asleep
Darkness is cheap
Oh, I know

High on a cloud
High on a cloud
High on a cloud
Where you are

written by Jeff Tweedy

Bird Without a Tail / Base of My Skull

There was a man with a double deed
Who sowed his garden full of seed
When the seed began to grow
Was like a garden full of snow

When the snow began to melt
Was like a ship without a belt
When the ship began to sail
Was like a bird without a tail
When the bird began to fly
Like an eagle in the sky
When the sky began to roar
Was like a lion at my door
When my door began to crack
Was like a stick across my back
When my back began to smart
Was like a penknife in my heart
When my heart began to bleed
Was death and death indeed

When my heart began to bleed
Was death and death indeed

written by Jeff Tweedy

Tired of Taking It Out On You

I’m tired of taking it out on you
Tired of needing to
Freeze my warmth away
Tear the tears out of your quiet face

I can’t face
The way I am with you
Or replace
The bite I’m chewing through
Oh I’m tired
Of taking it out on you

I crave
Crazy times again
Our nights, our nights
Would never end
I’m ashamed
Of who I am
When I’m in pain

So I strive
To the nearest star
Street light
Over an idling car
Move across the seat
I’m going to need
You to drive these last few miles
‘Cause I’m tired of taking it out on you

Ooo
Ooo
Freeze my warmth away
Tear the tears out of your quiet face

I can’t take
The way I am with you
Or recreate
Things we used to do
I’m tired
Of taking it out on you

Ooo
Ooo
Ooo
I’m tired of taking it out on you

written by Jeff Tweedy

The Universe

Talk to me
I don’t want to hear poetry
Say it plain
Like how you really speak

The universe
For what it’s worth
Everything is listening
For what it means

Spit it out
Every doubt
Poison flower
We can all agree

The universe
For better or worse
It’s the only place
To be

I’m serious
I don’t really care
I’m serious
I don’t really care about a single thing

Everything is listening
For what it means
Everything is listening
For what it means

So talk to me
I don’t want to hear poetry
Just say it plain
Like how you really speak

The universe
Could be worse
It’s the only place
There is to be

written by Jeff Tweedy

Many Worlds

When I look at the sky
I think of all the stars that have died
Many worlds collide
None like yours and mine
No, not like yours and mine
And I always cry
When I look at the sky

No, not like yours and mine
Not like yours and mine
And I always cry

When I look at the sky
I know I’m not the only one
Alive
I know I’m not the only one
Looking up
At the sky

None like yours and mine
No, not like yours and mine
Not like yours and mine

written by Jeff Tweedy

Hearts Hard to Find

I don’t mind
When certain people die
I can’t cry
I wonder why
I could lie and say
It makes me sad
There’s something wrong with me
Maybe I’m just bad
My heart’s hard to find
Sometimes
Oh I lose it
All the time

Reality
Ruins everything
I like a breeze
Gently shaking a tree
That’s a coin that’s real
Mine to spend
I like a ghost I can feel
Hold out your hand
My heart’s hard to find
Sometimes
Oh I lose it
All the time

That’s a coin that’s real
Mine to spend
I like a ghost I can feel
Hold out your hand

My heart’s hard to find
Sometimes
Oh I lose it
My hearts hard to find
Sometimes
Oh I lose it
My hearts hard to find
Sometimes
Oh I lose it
All the time

written by Jeff Tweedy

Falling Apart (Right Now)

Now don’t you fall apart
While I’m falling apart
Why don’t you get in line
Behind the tears I’m crying
I know our hearts
Aren’t very smart
But you’re gonna have to learn
Learn when it isn’t you turn
Somehow

‘Cause I’m gonna be the only one
Falling apart right now

Now don’t you lose your mind
While I’m looking for mine
You’re gonna have to stay strong
A little longer this time
I know our hearts
Aren’t a la carte
But baby being blue
When it comes to me and you
It’s always on the menu
So sit down

Because I’m gonna be the only one
Falling apart right now

Now don’t you fall apart
When you’re breaking my heart
Why don’t you get in line
Behind the tears I’m crying
I know our hearts
Aren’t very smart
But you’re gonna have to learn
Learn when it isn’t you turn
Your gonna have to keep it together
Somehow
‘Cause I’m gonna be the only one
I’m going to be the only one
I’m going to be the only one
Falling apart right now

written by Jeff Tweedy

Please Be Wrong

Please
Be wrong
About everything
Getting you down
Let it be
Misunderstood
One word
One word misheard
Can change
The whole wide world

Please
Be strong
When I am weak
Weighing you down
Let me be
Someone good
You deserve
Someone good
We were on the verge
Of something beautiful

Throwing my heart in the ring
Watching it beat
For no one
No one but you
No one but you
No one but you

Please be wrong
About me
Being the one
Causing all of your pain
I can change
We were on the verge
Of something so beautiful

Please
Be wrong

written by Jeff Tweedy

Story to Tell

I’ve been through hell
On my way to hell
I only fought with myself
So I’d have a story to tell

Once I cut off my arm
I sewed it back on all wrong
Now I don’t have to bend
To reach the bottom shelf
When I need a story to tell

The world is always on the brink
And love is dumber than you think
Singing songs of death and doom
With all the voices inside of you

Once I started a war
But I don’t fight anymore
I held the line until the old oak fell
I was left behind
With a story to tell

The world is always on the brink
Hearts are smarter than you think
Writing songs of death and doom
For all the voices inside of you

Once I looked you in the eye
And I told you lies
How I wish I could have treated you well
I wish I had more than
A story to tell

The world is always on the brink
Love is dumber than you think
Singing songs of death and doom
With all the voices inside of you

I’ve been through hell
On my way to hell
I only fought with myself
So I’d have a story to tell

written by Jeff Tweedy

A Lifetime to Find

Oh death
Oh death
I was just getting dressed
The place is a mess
I was hoping you’d forget
But I can feel you in my chest
I can feel you in my chest

Oh yes
Oh yes
Death never rests
I can see you’ve done your best
The problem is just this
It’s too late for regrets
I am here to collect

It takes a lifetime to find
A life like the life
You had in mind
It takes a lifetime to find
A life like the life
You had in mind
Now you’re mine

Oh death
I confess
I should have known what to expect
But you’re so hard to accept
Last time I checked
I was neck and neck
As healthy as the next

Oh Yes
You were blessed
Blessed in the past tense
But it’s too late now
To make it make sense
It’s too late to pretend
This day won’t ever end

It takes a lifetime to find
A life like the life
You had in mind
It takes a lifetime to find
A life like the life
You had in mind
Now you’re mine

So alright
Today’s the day and
Tonight is the night
There’s no reason there’s no rhyme
It’s just time to go goodbye
But why can’t you try
To ease what’s on
my poor mind

O’ Jeff
Don’t obsess
It’s the best that I can do
To help you see the light
And help the light to see you
It’s true there was a truth
That was you and only you ever knew

It takes a lifetime to find
The life like the life you had in mind
It takes a lifetime to find
The life like the life you had in mind
It takes a lifetime to find
The life like the life you had in mind
Now you’re mine

written by Jeff Tweedy

Country Song Upside-Down

I found
A
Song
Upside-down
A country song
Like a trout
Dying sky and water
Rainbow
Flickering out

Inside
A dark
Cabin
The more moonlike
I become
I’m rounding all of my edges
Because
I’m worried
It can’t be sung

This is the gist
It goes
Like this

I found
A
Song
Upside-down
A country song
Without a doubt
Dying sky and water
Rainbow
Flickering out

written by Jeff Tweedy

Mystery Binds

A child devoured on the western wind
As others were I must have been
As others saw a hovering ring
A dream retrieved from a common spring
The very same source taken
My sorrow at once awakened
Awakened
Awakened
Awakened

We walk apart on the sand and stone
Yet all I’ve loved I’ve loved alone
Silver craft a stormy dawn
The wretched raft of life is drawn
For every ounce of wasted will
More mystery binds me still

Binds me
Binds me
Binds me
Still

From the vault inside the mountain
All the coins from every fountain
And from the sun that round us rolled
Cars and streets everything gold
Lightening dashed tossed and torn
I at last took demon form

All I’ve loved
I’ve loved alone
All I’ve loved
I’ve loved alone
All I’ve loved
I’ve loved alone

written by Jeff Tweedy

Sad Kind of Way

The best
I can do
Is try to be happy
For you
In a sad kinda way
In a sad kinda way

I’ve been ashamed
And afraid
I still feel loved
When you say my name
In a sad kinda way
In a sad kinda way
In a sad kinda way

The best
I’ll ever be
Is the beauty
You see in me
In a sad kinda way
In a sad kinda way
In a sad kinda way

written by Jeff Tweedy

The Plains

It’s boring they don’t tell you that
Wait
It’s all they ever say
It’s hard to watch nothing change
It’s impossible how slowly things fade

No one complains
Wait
It’s all we ever do
It’s hard to get used to feeling useful
When you never get over feeling used

I like it here on the plains
From what I see on my tv
There isn’t any point in being free
When there’s nowhere else
You’d rather be

written by Jeff Tweedy

It's Just That Simple

There's a whole lot of money that you gave me
I'd gladly empty my pockets right now
You'd parlay all that by triple
It's just that simple

Those days I'd gladly walk so long for you
Although it seemed I crawled most of the way
After some time I felt like a cripple
It's just that simple

Last week I was thinking about traveling by land
And the time you remember we were by the lake
It wasn't even like we made a ripple
It's just that simple
In my head, the time didn't make a ripple
It's just that simple

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

New Madrid [Uncle Tupelo]

All my daydreams are disasters
She's the one I think I love
Rivers burn and then run backwards
For her, that's enough

They all come from New York City
And they woke me up at dawn
She walked with me to the fountain
And she held onto my arm

Come on, do what you did
Roll me under New Madrid
Shake my baby and please bring her back
'Cause death won't even be still
Caroms over the landfill
Buries us all in its broken back

There's a man of conviction
And although he's getting old
Mr. Browning has a prediction
And we've all been told

So come on back from New York City
Roll your trucks in at dawn
Walk with me to the fountain
And hold onto my arm

Come on, do what you did
Roll me under New Madrid
Shake my baby and please bring her back
'Cause death won't even be still
Caroms over the landfill
Buries us all in its broken back

originally appears on Anodyne / Uncle Tupelo written by Jeff Tweedy

Climbing [Meat Puppets cover]

Wild Mountain Thyme [cover]

Once A Day [Bill Anderson cover]

She's My Rock [Sharon K Dobbins cover]

Reincarnation [Roger Miller cover]