Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 343
Tues, Dec 25, 2012

“Venus Stopped The Train”


“♫ I kept
my distance/
because she
fell in love with
everyone/ smoking
grass and taking
Christmas trees/
she fell in love
with me

One of my favorite songs from the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sessions never made it on the final album. Unfortunately it was one of the Jay Bennett’s melody’s that got excised from the running order after Jay was dismissed from the Wilco. One of Wilco’s greatest unearthed songs has remained largely a mystery to fans of Jeff Tweedy and the band. Before his untimely death in 2009, Donny Kutzbach interviewed Bennett in 2002 for Artvoice, this was what Jay said about his long lost song, “Venus,” “There s six songs I wrote all the music for on [Yankee Hotel Foxtrot] YHF, so we re working out a fair trade. For Venus Stopped The Train I got the lyrics from a poem that Jeff wrote. I wanted that to be on YHF. I have no problem singing Jeff ‘s lyrics, he is a great lyricist. Likewise, he doesn’t seem to be embarrassed out there playing the music I wrote.”

Not your traditional holiday song but I love the image that Jeff wrote about smoking Christmas trees. I always imagined a skyline of smoking chimneys and the trees from the inside so bright they’re still lighting up the X-mas night for Santa Claus to make his yearly appearance. Maybe not, but because of the overcast rain, I’m feeling the beauty of Jay Bennett’s lost Wilco song, unearthed, my gift for you on this glorious Christmas day.

Happy X-mas and enjoy!