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
You cold, hot blood ran away from me
To the sea

I painted 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
And crawling is screw faster lash
I blow it with kisses
I rest my head on a pillowy star
And a cracked door moon
That 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
Searching for a home
Via Chicago

I'm coming home
I'm coming home


Lyrics submitted by papercutcasualty

Via Chicago Lyrics as written by Jeffrey Scott Tweedy Jeff Tweedy

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Via Chicago song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI was driving home my best friend, wearing a Wilco shirt actually...
    We had just spent the day together and I proclaimed my human feelings for him.

    He's moving to Chicago this Saturday. And this song came on the radio right before we pulled in to his driveway.

    I will forever appreciate Wilco for that.
    lyricallychallengedon June 17, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is so good... i love wilco
    SoICanBeMyselfon August 24, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWilco certainly uses stars a lot. California Stars. Silvery Stars in Radio Cure. Right about Stars in Jesus, etc.

    Beautiful.
    Greyshoeson December 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI didn't think of it myself, but someone brought to my attention the correlation between this song and the book FAHRENHEIT 451. The fireworks display could = the nuclear war at the end, and the blank notebook, etc. The part that really convinced me of it is:

    One of these days and turn on your TV
    To watch a man with a face like mine
    Being chased down a busy street

    Theres a part in the book where the main character is being chased down a street and cameras are following him, and the whole chase is portrayed on tv.

    I don't know how the person I know thought of it, but it definitely all makes sense to me.
    drroeckson June 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentso, for anyone who didn't know... Tweedy is from Belleville, IL... and his recording studio is in Chicago... it's not about someone moving away, I think it's about going on tour and then the relief of the wind blowing him home, even if it's only to play a gig and then leave... (like, he's still on tour, so he doesn't really get the comfort of home) idunno.
    talflickon June 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song is about his wishing he could just erase a past failed relationship. Like, if he could just kill her and bury her, it would be like it never happened. The whole song just screams "failure" to me--it is the fact that things that didn't work out that kills him, rather than missing that actual person.
    bigwilcofanon February 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRest my head on a pillowy star
    And a cracked door moon
    Says I haven't gone too far

    Marcussummerteeth I believe you are on to something here. Whether this is how Tweedy originally intended it or not I will not pretend to know, but I can see how your interpretation in light of recovery makes sense. The last lines are chilling when read this way. Addiction is a bitch and will tell you what you want to hear to keep you active in the addiction. "I haven't gone too far" could mean that you can keep on using because it's okay, you can still get back to normal - later but right now you can use. Or if you are in recovery and are feeling tempted, it could be the addiction reminding you that it is just an arms length away and any progress you feel you've made is easily overcome. Whatever the case I know that I certainly have another relapse in me, but another recovery is not as certain.
    ynotboron March 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the song that I listen to when I just want to stare off at the sunset. There's just some beautiful, tingly imagery in here:
    "the crush of veils and starlight"
    "pillowy star/cracked door moon"
    "a notebook full of white dry pages"

    Tweedy's got such a knack for making words tactile.
    shes_a_jaron September 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch an optimistically hopeless song. "Crumbling ladder tears don't fall, they shine down your shoulder."
    Milkman82on October 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI disagree with the argument that asserts or claims that Via Chicago is hopelessly optimistic. When in fact, the entire album is at the opposite end of the charged spectrum.

    Our hero loves his significant other so much that even after their seperation, he cares so much that he could and would live through the death of this significant other. He doesn't even mind the significant other's blood raining over him. He doesn't mind watching his lover die: that says a lot about the amount of love he had for this significant other. And the other euphemisms spliced onto dark pop just makes this more interesting, and perhaps the centerpiece of Summer Teeth. "And a cracked door moon says I haven't gone too far" just goes on to explain that he won't be satisfied after burying him/her (most likely her) in a fireworks display. In fact, he's even apathetic to the falsely accussed.

    And as you listen to this song, you hear a guitar weeping and wailing through the saddest days of Summer Teeth.

    ---

    Via Chicago works in a similar way with Radiohead's Fake Plastic Trees. Both of these songs address something extremely depressing but tackle it with an anthemic response. In other words, the songs answer comes from the fact that these songwriters are sharing their experiences with others, learning and finding out about each other and realizing that they're not the only ones in this type of situation. And that all of them are still... "search for a home" no matter which city you prefer to reside.

    So perhaps, one could argue that Wilco plays Via Chicago in such a depressing tune in order to send an optimistic message.
    auguruson December 30, 2004   Link

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