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Wilco — What Light
Album: Sky Blue Sky
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 727









Released: 2007
Length: 3:30
Plays (last 30 days): 0
If you feel like singin' a song
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

And if you're trying to paint a picture
But you're not sure which colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don't let anyone say it's wrong

If you're strung out like a kite
Or stuck awake in the night
It's alright to be frightened

When there's a light
What light?
And there's a light
What light?
There's a light
White light
Inside of you

If you think you might need somebody
To pick you up when you drag
Don't lose sight of yourself
Don't let anyone change your bag

And if the whole world is singing your songs
And all of your paintings have been hung
Just remember what was yours
Is everyone's from now on

And that's not wrong or right
But you can struggle with it all you like
You don't have to get uptight

When there's a light
What light?
There's a light
What light?
There's a light
White light
There's a light
White light
There's a light
One light
There's a light
White light
There's a light
One light
There's a light
White light
There's a light
One light
There's a light
White light
There's a light
White light inside of you

There's a light
White light
There's a light
White light
There's a light
White light
There's a light
One light
Comments (114)add comment
ver y good!!
This song is now in a commercial for Blue Cross Health coverage in Chicago. I just hear it in the background on TV all the time, and I ask myself...WHY?.
I like to guess who the singer/band is on RP and I recognise about 50% after the first few bars but I have to admit to being stumped by Wilco.  Every time I go over to check the playlist because I don't recognise who it is - yep you guessed it - it is Wilco. How am I going to beat Bill at this game?
Bill, please stop playing the great songs.  I have work to do!!!
 lemmoth wrote:

It may just be Beatlecentricity but I often hear in Wilco (who I love) Lennonesque vocals and Harrisonian guitars

 
And for me, more often than not, I hear Eagles...

In a good way, of course! They are incredibly reductive, and a blast to see live. Roots-rockers extraordinaire!!

I'm in a small big city (~1M people) in Canada, and have managed to see them 4 times!
 jettondude wrote:

He repeats the line almost 30 times.  My gawd.

 Came in late on this one and thought the record was stuck {#Smile}


 lemmoth wrote:
Nice segue from a Lennon song to an extremely talented Lennon/Beatle acolyte

 
Yah, good little Help/Rubber Soul connection w/ the opening riff: "here I stand, head in hand, turn my face to the wall..."
 dggeek wrote:
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line!

I like Wilco, but they're better than this.


 
He repeats the line almost 30 times.  My gawd.
 Pyro wrote:

Uhm, no.  Amigo.  That's BAD writing.


 
Wilco has been accused of a lot of things, but bad writing? I don't think so.

iTS OBVIOUSLY heresy (correct spelling ) to dislike WILCO!

I cannot say I really dislike them - no, I do not!

But I would never dare to put them on, if "nutty rockin' dreadlocks coming to party"

You...?

Musically good - yes, but what is it that is missing?

The THRILL, I would say!

They are simply not exiting enough!

Imagine you have that blond girl over for the first time and you suspect she might like to stay!

Would you play WILCO to support her secret wishes...?

I would not!


Waltz #2 --> What Light

Nice transition... 
Nice demonstration of the great difference between the Beatles and those who wish to be Beatles, but... 3.
 t00lur wrote:
fork

 
Totally agree.
Nice segue from a Lennon song to an extremely talented Lennon/Beatle acolyte
 dggeek wrote:
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line!

I like Wilco, but they're better than this.

 
There's a light... Bud Light
There's a light... Bud Light
There's a light... Bud Light
There's a light... Bud Light
I can see the commercial possibilities...  


 t00lur wrote:
fork
 
i mean it {#Group-hug}
fork
 dggeek wrote:
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line!

I like Wilco, but they're better than this.

 

{#Beat}I just felt the urge to pelt someone over the head.  It's Saturday.  That's what I do on Saturday.   {#Lol}


for those who look but can't see, a petaled rose - after you take the corporate hooks out, get a nice view of the city, libation of choice, lick your wounds and give this band a listen. you could be pleasantly surprised. and what a nice day that would be
 LongGoneDaddy wrote:
favorite 30 Rock quote (Queen Latifah as Congresswoman Regina Bookman, to Jack Donaghy) : "Why is it that NBC looks about as diverse as a Wilco concert?" 
 
That's why 30 Rock rules.
How did Wilco get so popular?  Seems musically lazy and unappealing ... 
Do love Wilco - but boy the tedium of repetition on this one....?!
OK, nice song. Positive and thoughtful. There's a light. Inside. But I would prefer he not repeat the refrain 270 times. 
Wilco is too wishy washy for me. Do these guys know how to wash us in rock and roll?  
favorite 30 Rock quote (Queen Latifah as Congresswoman Regina Bookman, to Jack Donaghy) : "Why is it that NBC looks about as diverse as a Wilco concert?" 
Man.......... I love me some Wilco Cool

It may just be Beatlecentricity but I often hear in Wilco (who I love) Lennonesque vocals and Harrisonian guitars

Outstanding, love it!

Damn true lyrics......


Lazy, banal and just too 'safe'. I like earlier Wilco far more than this.
Hearing Wilco play this @ SOLID SOUND WAS AWESOME
Printing out these lyrics to post on office wall. Thanks for the smile.
This song was stuck in my head just last week despite not having heard it in a while. Happy to hear it today. :)
 Pyro wrote:
Kinda repetitious lyrics, dontcha think?
 
Yes, you've discovered something very very interesting.
I think musically it's a simple song for them, but simple doesn't mean bad. This one is all about the lyrics.  And I think Tweedy's voice sounds sweet on this one.  It's especially good at his solo shows.
 tulfan wrote:
Have yet been able to sit through an entire song by this band regardless of the source...
 


Oops...should be a "not" in there after have...

Will keep trying though...
Have yet been able to sit through an entire song by this band regardless of the source...
 dggeek wrote:
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line!

I like Wilco, but they're better than this.

 
Agreed. I like Wilco, and I like this album, but this song is truly a low point for the band and definitely not deserving of the 6.8 it's carrying here.

There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line.
There's a line... One line!

I like Wilco, but they're better than this.

So drab.
I think, all the writers put their energy on the negative comment on madonna, and now.....?:::
This is a nice song, though...!

Ashamed to say I don't have any Wilco in my collection, despite liking pretty well everything Bill plays by them. I'll be correcting that soon.
so let me get this straight
some people don't like this song but some people like this song
seems like
and white light is inside of us all
these guys are capable of better......
 lmic wrote:
{#Meditate}
Great
 
the whole album is good

{#Meditate}
Great
Wilco and out <click>
white light white heat ... nope that's lou.
 lemmoth wrote:

I can't get no,  I can't get no, I can't get no. satisfaction.  satisfaction.  satisfaction.  no satisfaction.  can't get no

 
{#Roflol}

 Pyro wrote:

Uhm, no.  Amigo.  That's BAD writing.

 
I can't get no,  I can't get no, I can't get no. satisfaction.  satisfaction.  satisfaction.  no satisfaction.  can't get no

 lemmoth wrote:

that's rock and roll amigo

 
Uhm, no.  Amigo.  That's BAD writing.

Some I'm guessing there's some kind of...light? I wonder what color.

Really cool tune.  I see they're coming to New Orleans Jazz Festival this spring along with a bunch of other greats.  Should be a fine time.
 Pyro wrote:
Kinda repetitious lyrics, dontcha think?
 
that's rock and roll amigo

Kinda repetitious lyrics, dontcha think?
It might be because it just followed In My Life but Jeff sounds like a cross between Lennon and Joe Strummer on this.
i like this song more each time i hear it! the best version is from live at the world cafe, vol 26 from xpn.
 EssexTex wrote:
I'm hearing the influence of Dylan here
 
Probably not an accident here on JT's part.  I like it.  This CD is one of my all-time favorites.  Too bad some here feel Wilco is overplayed on RP.

wow, from the other room i thought this was the rock-n-roll jesus kid rock


 fredriley wrote:

But enough about you - what about the song? Have you ever posted a positive comment, or do you just like a good old trolling whinge?

 

Let's try it again, folks. I'll type S-L-O-W-L-Y.

PLEASE STOP RE-POSTING EXCELSIOR'S COMMENTS. I don't know why this is hard to understand. He's been gone from the comments threads for a few weeks now, either because he got bored or got kicked off, and the only way he lives on is through people's reposts. If it weren't for those, we wouldn't have to see him at all. At this point, the people re-posting are way more annoying than the guy himself.

Please. Stop. Thanks.


 fredriley wrote:

But enough about you - what about the song? Have you ever posted a positive comment, or do you just like a good old trolling whinge?

 

Shoots and scores...nice zinger!
 Excelsior wrote:
 Wretchedly whiny, off-key, and repetitive.

 
But enough about you - what about the song? Have you ever posted a positive comment, or do you just like a good old trolling whinge?

 venus_df wrote:


i really like the song... but it's just that one off-pitch note that feels like nails on a chalkboard to me.  was the producer taking a bio break when that note happened?  believe me, tweedy, i feel it... but not in a good way.  :(
 

Could people PLEASE STOP POSTING EXCELSIOR'S TROLLING. I don't know why this is hard to understand.
 Excelsior wrote:

This time, it is very bad.  This song is horrible, even for Wilco.

 

i really like the song... but it's just that one off-pitch note that feels like nails on a chalkboard to me.  was the producer taking a bio break when that note happened?  believe me, tweedy, i feel it... but not in a good way.  :(
Can hardly wait til they come to Halifax for their show at the end of the month -  Wilco and Neil Young - Heaven!!!
 jagdriver wrote:
Methinks Excelsior is a Clear Channel operative.
 
{#Yes}

Methinks Excelsior is a Clear Channel operative.
The hurling emoticon seems a bit heavy-handed. It's maybe a not great song, but emetic?

 
Excelsior wrote:
{#Puke}What a crappy song to start the day off.  Wretchedly whiny, off-key, and repetitive.

 


no comment  -   7.
{#Puke}What a crappy song to start the day off.  Wretchedly whiny, off-key, and repetitive.

songbirdfemme wrote:

sometimes out of tune is bad, but sometimes it isnt, its all about the feeling. even this out of work musician knows that... maybe we are out of work perfectionists.


This time, it is very bad.  This song is horrible, even for Wilco.

 venus_df wrote:

"just sing what you feel, don't let anyone say it's wrong..."  even when you sing so far off key?  must all the out-of-work musicians of the world sit on their hands and not say anything?  {#Cry}


 
sometimes out of tune is bad, but sometimes it isnt, its all about the feeling. even this out of work musician knows that... maybe we are out of work perfectionists.

"just sing what you feel, don't let anyone say it's wrong..."  even when you sing so far off key?  must all the out-of-work musicians of the world sit on their hands and not say anything?  {#Cry}


 redeyespy wrote:

You have to build the cake before you spread the icing.  Lyrics, at best, are icing in music, no matter how thoughtful or profound they may sometimes be.  A strong musical foundation must be erected; that is the case here.

 

I appreciate your thoughtfulness on the matter but I don't necessarily agree.  The word 'music' may seem self-explanatory but I think it's open to subjective interpretation.  To me, the music and lyrics can be equally important depending on the artist and the song.  There are plenty of songs that I think are great primarily because of the lyrics.  On others, the music takes center stage.  And on some it's 50/50.
The song has an entirely different feel if you've actually had an experience with this white light he speaks of.. what light?  one light.  and it's white.  Great song I think.
When I saw them live, this song was one of the best.  Something about it really got into the crowd and there was just this ... energy.
 tobstar wrote:
" Because there's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)
There's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)
There's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)
There's a light (what light)
There's a light (one light)
There's a light (white light)
Inside of you "

- great songwriting? copy and paste I feel. I like wilco but this song is weak.

 
You have to build the cake before you spread the icing.  Lyrics, at best, are icing in music, no matter how thoughtful or profound they may sometimes be.  A strong musical foundation must be erected; that is the case here.

Excelsior wrote:
Repetitive AND off-key. What is good about this song, again? That's right, nothing.
Yes, because there really aren't that many rock songs repeat in the chorus.
I just picked up this CD, yes, after hearing it on RP. I love it. I love the white light...one night...bright light... :good-vibes: :good-vibes:
tobstar wrote:
" Because there's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) There's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) There's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) There's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) Inside of you " - great songwriting? copy and paste I feel. I like wilco but this song is weak.
Repetitive AND off-key. What is good about this song, again? That's right, nothing.
blkstd wrote:
'What Light' by Wilco - with no insult intended, he sounds amazingly like John Lennon.
Funny, my immediate thought was that he sounds like Bob Dylan, only a little more tuneful. Shame I can't bear either Lennon or Dylan :(
blkstd wrote:
'What Light' by Wilco - with no insult intended, he sounds amazingly like John Lennon.
Who were you trying to not insult - John or Wilco. I actually agree it has a Lennon feel - but much too simple and straight and repetitive lyrically to be up to John's standards. I like Wilco - Kicking Television is a terrific live album - get it if you don't have it.
blkstd wrote:
'What Light' by Wilco - with no insult intended, he sounds amazingly like John Lennon.
:drunk: Yep. Maybe a drunken John Lennon. Also, sans Yoko, which is a good thing...
Love it :cheers: :yes:
" Because there's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) There's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) There's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) There's a light (what light) There's a light (one light) There's a light (white light) Inside of you " - great songwriting? copy and paste I feel. I like wilco but this song is weak.
This whole CD is great. It reminds me of something good from the late 60's. :sunny: :sunny:
this is my favorite song on the album, makes me want to figure out the chords
:eh: mmmh
I'm hearing the influence of Dylan here
blkstd wrote:
'What Light' by Wilco - with no insult intended, he sounds amazingly like John Lennon.
Good call.
Liked Foxtrot, disliked Ghost, LOVE Blue Sky. Tweedy returns to old form. Just straight up great songwriting on this album.
horstman wrote:
They are pretty close now. Already doing Volkswagon Commercials.
Yeah, I'm pretty bummed about that. Now everytime I hear "What Light", I think of Volkswagon. Aaarrggghhh!
mintmoose wrote:
how long you think until they break down and sell rights for a bud light commercial?
They are pretty close now. Already doing Volkswagon Commercials.
What a fantastic CD. I was turned off a bit by Foxtrot, but this one is wonderful from first cut to last.
PBS is also using Wilco music for their "commercials". Good taste if you ask me!
suddenchad wrote:
Wow. Is that Tweedy singing? Sounds really different. Seems like Wilco is moving away from their recent, more experimental stage. Curious to hear the whole CD.
Supposedly he stopped smoking.
'What Light' by Wilco - with no insult intended, he sounds amazingly like John Lennon.
all this talk of bud light is making me thirsty!
madra wrote:
I don't remember what it was, but I've definitely seen it used in a commercial in the last month. Maybe a TV network's fall season? Better than Bud Light, I guess.
Volkswagen is using a few different Wilco songs in their commercials.
I generally prefer the Son Volt side of the Uncle Tupelo divide. But this is nice - more straight forward.
Love the cover. We have a pair of peregrine falcons in the neighborhood and the other day I saw a "dog fight" between them and a murder of crows. Amazing sight in a major city. The fight was a draw. And it is a great song, too.
mintmoose wrote:
how long you think until they break down and sell rights for a bud light commercial?
I don't remember what it was, but I've definitely seen it used in a commercial in the last month. Maybe a TV network's fall season? Better than Bud Light, I guess.
how long you think until they break down and sell rights for a bud light commercial?
Kerly wrote:
Wow! On the cover it's the photo that won Nature Photography contest on 2005, an Italian took it, if I remember correctly.
Wow! Gettin that Wilco Frisbee up there just right, then snappin the pic - pretty durn good! Gotta hand it to them Eyetalians!
Wilco is one of the best bands out there right now, imo. This whole album is great. This song is awesome, and it may be one of the weaker ones on the album.
ploba wrote:
.. the entire cd is just wonderful - well worth owning.
I concur. One of the year's best albums.
ploba wrote:
i think he sounds like dylan on this track - the entire cd is just wonderful - well worth owning.
I thought it was Dylan for the first couple bars the first time I heard it.
great recovery from jeff even tho its a lil anthemical(if its a word) he's still got a bit of his old self
White Light. . . White Heat. Haha.
suddenchad wrote:
Wow. Is that Tweedy singing? Sounds really different. Seems like Wilco is moving away from their recent, more experimental stage. Curious to hear the whole CD.
i think he sounds like dylan on this track - the entire cd is just wonderful - well worth owning.
Wow! On the cover it's the photo that won Nature Photography contest on 2005, an Italian took it, if I remember correctly.
Wonderful wilco song...this would be hot live.
Wow. Is that Tweedy singing? Sounds really different. Seems like Wilco is moving away from their recent, more experimental stage. Curious to hear the whole CD.
I like it. You can't dance to it but the voice is pure and out front of the music. wow, Rue De Lis picks up the batton and runs!
I need to get some Wilco in my library!!!