California Stars

Views: 70,399
Comments: 47
Posted: 2009 01-25


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YouTube Uploader: Mark Albers
Mark Albers

My favorite version of this song. I've always thought this version of Wilco was the best as it was roots rock steady with a flair. In my opinion and though I still love Wilco, they have become a wee bit "prog".

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
California Stars on Wikipedia

"California Stars" is an American folk song with lyrics by Woody Guthrie. Guthrie never recorded the song, but in 1998 it was recorded as part of Mermaid Avenue, a collection of Guthrie's work that was put to music and recorded by British singer Billy Bragg and the American band Wilco. Music for the song was ultimately composed by Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy and guitarist Jay Bennett.

In 1992, Guthrie's estate asked Bragg to set "California Stars" and other unrecorded works to music in what would become Mermaid Avenue.

No date is known for the creation of the original lyrics, which could have taken place any time from the 1940's to Guthrie's death in 1967.[1] The lyrics are simple but surreal, describing the singer lying under the California sky and dreaming of lying with a lover on a "bed" of stars. A "California Star" is a complex geometric pattern used in making quilts, which could have been an influence on Guthrie's writing, lending a more literal interpretation to the phrase "a bed of California Stars."

Wilco has frequently performed the song live, and it is one of their most popular recordings.[2] Since being set to music, the song has been recorded and released by other musicians, including Bob Seger on his 2014 album Ride Out.


  1. ^ California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco Songfacts
  2. ^ See Wilco, Jason Isbell Team for 'California Stars' - Rolling Stone

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