Hay Fever

by Ben Crane

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"Hay Fever" is my first full-length release. The recording took place in my bedroom and classrooms in the Tufts music building. At its core, it's a folk album. But, I tried out lots of different styles and ended up with a pretty eclectic mix of tunes. So whatever your flavor is, I hope I got to it.

Try to listen on something other than laptop speakers or earbuds. I promise it's better.

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look at photos, watch videos, and read newsy updates/daydreams I have.

Thanks for listening.


released April 22, 2011

All songs written, performed, and recorded by Ben Crane.

Painting by Ilana Zwiebel
Additional cover art by Alex Berdoff



all rights reserved


Ben Crane New York, New York

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Track Name: Summer 99
The summer of 99 was spent in a van
With a lakeside girl and her wristwatch tan
Four tangled ankles and one back seat
Got mixed up in some mix tapes
Keeping time to the beat

Well they’d drive that bus down the interstate
and wonder if it could all be fate
or if life had just served up some serendipity
Well either way they didn’t care
And it really didn’t matter where
They ended up so long as it was somewhere

And now he’s driving in the front
Yeah she’s lying in the back
He’s turning up the radio
She’s reading Kerouac

He looks in the rear view mirror
Trying to catch her eye
And her smile bounces out
Into the Arizona sky

And he said babe if we drive fast enough
The universe might lose track of us
And forget to stick us somewhere else for a day
So in the harsh light of a Texaco sign
They drank some cheap imported wine
And pooled their cash to fill the tank half-way

She jumped in the front to take the driver’s wheel
And wrapped her hands in the rounded steel
And hell the cold felt good
She forgot the mirrors and hit the gas
Peeling out right there by the overpass
Cause it’s more fun not doing what you should

And now she’s driving in the front
Yeah he’s lying in the back
She’s turning up the radio
He’s reading Kerouac
Oh he looks in the rear-view mirror
Trying to catch her eye
And her smile bounces out into the Arizona sky
Track Name: People Watching
The waitress seats me at the table I take every time
and asks me if I want my usual ham on rye
and as an afterthought I ask for the New York Times
cause I want something to hide behind

cause every time I find myself watching passersby
While I’m sitting by the window and it’s sunny outside
It always makes me wonder makes me wonder what it would be like to see
The world from their eyes

And sometimes they look back
And we both stare like cats
And it’s only for a second that
Neither one of us knows how to act

And nowadays the constellations all spell your name
and they remind me of the freckles strewn across your face
You had Cassiopeia falling up your cheek and I thought
it’d be nice to be an astronaut

So I’ll keep coming here and sitting in the corner booth
Secretly making my coffee 80 proof
Cause if you were here I know you would be too
So I’ll keep people watching for you
Track Name: Terracotta Heart
There’s a thread that I’ve been slowly spinning in my head
On a loom I only work while I lie awake in bed

The single strand of cotton twists tighter every time
Thoughts of strangers drift through the hallways of my mind

And I’m filling up with promises that I intend to keep
Dedicated to the folks that I have yet to meet
and my heart’s made of terracotta
Fired in a kiln last night
Buried in the ventricles that didn’t go quite right
They didn’t go quite right

There’s a ship I’ve been building
With the white cage of my ribs
and by the stars I’m navigating and cause this vessel is
Ventilated, perforated, just a body full of holes
And half-finished goals

I’m filling up with water now
And it’s getting much too deep
And I’m losing sight of all those promises I meant to keep
But my terracotta heart still floats above the sea
Soaked in salt and water and little bits of me
Little bits of me
Track Name: Alma Mater
Snowfall came late this year
it came late this year
and all of us we're waiting to cover up our ears
cover up our ears

You write to me just about everyday
in a simple way
And I wait for your letters by the door
like you're a solider in the Civil War

Seems to me you just don't care
but what if there's still a little piece inside you that does somewhere
so I'll keep reading these little haikus
even though they don't tell me anything about you
they don't tell me anything about you
anything about you
I think about you
Track Name: Rishikesh
Down the stairs I follow you
I follow you just where you want me to

The vines they swim so slow
and seem to know what I am going to try
They watch like spies

And I read you hated this place with your bones
you really tried, but he lied while you sat alone

and as you packed and left he asked you "Why do you go?"
you replied "You're the cosmic one; you should know."

You should know
Track Name: Cavalry Drum
My revolution has barely begun
I’m still loading the chambers of my silver starting gun
And all your towers will crumble and fall
when I order my trebuchets to fire on your wall

I’m gonna make all your generals know my name
I will be the one to drive you insane

And don’t you bother to hide
Yeah my spies will find you anywhere
They watch you from the sky

And when I come usurp your throne
All your power will be meaningless
You’ll be without a home

My horse can smell your fear now that we got you on the run
And that thunder you hear, that’s just my cavalry drum

Cause your days used to be easy
sitting pretty in the shade
I bet you thought you had it made
But now I’ve got the sun in a mason jar
And I’m laughing while you’re stumbling around in the dark
Track Name: Rodeo Rookie
New York was so electric
Healed my soul just like antiseptic
And all the subway soldiers line the wall
And every single one seemed to trip and fall

Just like I do I do I do
I do I do I do

The city can be a nasty place
But kind of like seeing a suddenly familiar face
I was getting signals backstage at my show
Yeah I was falling faster than a rookie at a rodeo

Well it’s true yeah I’ve been wanting you
For longer than I care to admit
And if this song is any evidence
I haven’t gotten this mixed up over someone since
Well since whenever

I know I don’t have anything that you’d want
Well I ‘spose that makes it that much easier to flaunt
Well I’ll still stick my neck out. Take a risk, I guess.
Cause I can’t help but get caught up in a beautiful mess
With you like I want to
You got me falling so fast I don’t have no control
Ah shoot, I must look like a rookie at a rodeo
Track Name: The Rosary
Well that girl was born a Catholic, see
Always made to wear her grandma’s rosary
But it just hung too heavy on her neck
and she wanted more than just a lost town out West

Well she stayed in church cause her momma told her so
But it felt like the preacher was just putting on a show
And all those hymns she used to sing before
They echoed and died and she walked out the basement door
Yeah she left by the basement door

And left a letter in her kitchen back home
Saying I think I’ll make it better on my own
But she kept the rosary tucked secretly in the bottom of her purse
Cause we can all use the luck when life’s so unrehearsed

It was just a good luck charm hidden with her cigarettes
A memory of what might have been bundled in empty threats
And how she wished there just could have been a little more time
it wouldn’t have to end this way, but life’s so unkind

Yeah I know it’s been unkind

Well she bought a ticket for the Greyhound bus
Only got as far as Tishamingo because she didn’t have too much
But at the time it felt like world’s away
Cause she was on her own, finally getting away

Well she walked into the local general store
Said sir I’m traveling alone and ain’t been here before
I don’t got no money but I need a place to stay
Oh please can’t you find some pity? I’ll pay you back someway.

The store clerk just looked at her and said
Well child it’s not much but you can have the storage shed
All I ask is that you clean it up and sweep the floor
That’s how I’ve always done it when kids slept there before

Well she made herself a little makeshift bed
And bundled up her bag under her head
And then felt the rosary sticking through the leather of her purse
and she had to smile cause things could be worse

It was just a good luck charm hidden with her cigarettes
A memory of what might have been bundled in empty threats
And how she wished there just could’ve been a little more time
It wouldn’t have to be this way but life’s just so unkind

Yeah I know it’s been unkind
Track Name: The Captain's Last Words
I used to have a lot of faith in rain
I thought it could wash away bad history just as soon as it came
And mud would cover up the things I’d buried in the dirt
But couldn’t quite get out of sight because I was addicted to the hurt

And no matter how many steps I take you follow me just like a cape
Shouting out all of my big red mistakes
That I’ve made over the years and it’s the reason why I’m swimming in a sea of compromise

But at least I’ve got this little rowboat to help keep me afloat
While I navigate the waters of your frothing castle moat
And soon a salty darkness will come fill my shoes
And I’ll be forced to admit that I was just born to lose

And I left that half opened envelope on my desk
And walked away thinking it was probably for the best
To never know just the words you wanted to say to me
Cause I’ve always been in love with a good mystery