The Top 20 Jeff Tweedy Songs: #15 “Impossible Germany”

Videos by American Songwriter


Song: “Impossible Germany”

Album: Sky Blue Sky (2007)

Band: Wilco

Written by: Jeff Tweedy, Wilco

Key lyric: “This is what love is for, to be out of place, gorgeous and alone, face to face.”

Just what is so snoozy about Sky Blue Sky? People love to put it down in print, but to my mind, there are as many goosebump moments and cathartic sequences in Sky Blue Sky’s 51 minutes as there are on any other Wilco record.

One track you can’t help but sing along to is “Impossible Germany.”

The melody is taut and beautiful. The contradictory lyrics evoke the feeling of waking from a dream, only to find yourself in another dream.  Impossible Germany is an abstract image; the mind can only grasp it in an abstract way. “I’ll say what this means to me,” sings Tweedy, as if answering some hapless interviewer in his sleep. “I’ll do what I can.” It all unspools into a spiritually uplifting, sugar sweet three-person guitar solo that builds and builds, sending concert goers into fits of air guitar-fingering ecstasy. Tension and release. The new Wilco at the peak of their powers. Wistful and forceful. Unlikely Japan.


20.“The Long Cut”
19. “That’s Not the Issue”
18. “Promising”
17. “She’s A Jar”
16. “I Can’t Keep From Talking”


Leave a Reply
  1. Love that you’re doing a Tweedy countdown, but this song has gotta be top ten at LEAST! Though a lot of my love for it stems from Nels Cline’s guitar jams rather than the songwriting (which is also fantastic of course), so nevermind. Carry on.

  2. People seem to love crapping on Sky Blue Sky because it’s so sonically different than their earlier attempts- it’s simplistic, relying on melodies almost more than lyrics (which some people can’t stand, it seems like), but I think it’s all the better for it. Nels Cline’s playing is sublime (wish all their previous albums featured it), and this song proves it.

    What about What Light being on the list?

Leave a Reply

Rufus Wainwright’s New Opera: Everyone’s A Critic