The Top 20 Jeff Tweedy Songs: #4 “A Shot in the Arm”

Videos by American Songwriter


“A Shot in the Arm”
Band: Wilco
Album: Summerteeth (1998)
Co-Writers: Jay Bennett, John Stirratt

Key lyric: “The ashtray says you were up all night/ when you went to bed, with your darkest mind/You’ve changed.”

“A Shot in the Arm” is quintessential Wilco. A fervent rocker that builds to a cathartic climax, it comes stocked with a cool guitar analogy, (“We fell in love in the key of C”), and the reoccurring accusation that “you’ve changed.” Tweedy pours all of his late-90s angst and worry into this one, crying out for “something in my veins, bloodier than blood.” It all comes to a head with the powerful, malleable mantra, “what you once were isn’t what you want to be anymore.”


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  1. Wow… looks like there are going to be three Summerteeth songs on this list, since “Via Chicago” still has to make it on here. It’s the best album of Tweedy’s career, so it definitely deserves it!

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