Sea Stories

by Ben Levin



A man battling a sex addiction shares his life story with his daughter, before he forgets it all.

I wrote and recorded the whole thing in the month of February 2014 as part of the RPM challenge in which musicians make an album in a month.


released February 25, 2014

Written, performed, recorded and mixed by Ben Levin
Mastered by Randy Roos at Squam Sound
Guest vocals by Jessica Kion

Thank you to Vince Welch for some great feedback on the mixes and to Jessica Kion for helping me figure out what to do for the last song.

Extra thank you to my parents and brother for supporting me unconditionally and telling me to go for it.



all rights reserved


Ben Levin Group Boston, Massachusetts

The simple things that all humans experience are perhaps the most important. The loss of a loved one can inspire a raging piece about the apocalypse. A majestic symphony of morphing rhythms can come from a first kiss. I hope when you listen to our music, you are reminded of your own life and feel something special. ... more

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Track Name: Let Me Go
Body comes and body goes. I'm melting in my snow globe. And I've learned to let go.
My daughter and her husband love me so dearly. I let them go, and I'm hopeful they'll let me go too.
Track Name: Out at Sea
Out at sea I might find love. I might hide from it, it don't matter much to me. And sooner or later, for better for worse, you've heard my excuses you pooh poohed my hurt. I'm a believer, I am a dreamer. Just like a hooker enduring the hurt. You speak of ethics? I think diuretics. You're making a mess and you don't get me at all.

They sayin se la vie he's dead to me. I hope I never see that man again. He'd say damn near anything to take a dip in some young lady's dress.

Out at sea I might find love. It's less complicated when nobody's seen your script before. No need to twitch or to panic, can fuck up my lines and the show will stay its course. I'd like to clean up and be sober and let the truth flow out for once in my life. Without reputation I might be an angel. At least I've got a chance to try.

They'll say oh what a guy, I wouldn't mind if that man banged my wife. He's got big ideas and killer moves, I'd let him take a ride.

Drifting out there singing. And the swag I'm bringing. A fresh start will do me right, I'll curb my silly appetites. I'll make good I promise. You'll see me in the paper. When I come back a few years' time I'll bring God's kingdom with me, oh I swear I'll do you right.

It might just be make believe, but I'm the king and I'll do what I please. You can throw your garbage onto me and kick me in my teeth. Can't a simple man pretend?
Track Name: Fear
On the ocean I heard a voice. A chunk of man, cast aside. Still alive. Only two men on Earth new he had survived. He and I. But I never learned his tale of triumph, never pulled him to his feet. I let our ship sail onward silent. I let fear get the best of me.

In my quarters I heard a rustle. Wheezing shadow, a stow-away. Half alive. Only two men on Earth knew where he hide. He and I. But I was fighting my own demons, could not be an accessory. I told the captain that I'd seen him. I let fear get the best of me.

On the port side, a great commotion. Pointing fingers, baring teeth. Take his life! Two men on Earth knew he was in the right. Just he and I. If I spoke up and said I'd done it, that would be the end for me. I cried out when they threw him over. I let fear get the best of me.
Track Name: Constellations
Stare into the stars 'till I believe in God. The universe so large, my sins seem smaller. I'm a speck in the sea on a speck in space. I'm a speck of the seed blasting from my father.

I'm a speck in an egg deep within my mother, she's a speck of herself from before the Alzheimer's I bet she asks about me, she knows I'm in trouble. I'm the missing piece that ruins her puzzle.

Floating out here, 20 passes 'round the sun. I can see my journal in the Constellations. I'm weary of the water and of my imagination. If I settled and got married it would dull my concentration. I'd think less of penetration.

Where does Orion keep his belt when he's humping on all fours? These looming speckled giants point me closer to the lord.

If I was made in God's image, does he have a thing for whores? I'm a failed invention collecting dust in the corner. Waiting to electrocute the grandkids someday soon.

I'll miss the star spangled nights and salty mist. the mystery of motion mistaken for bliss. This morning's mission is to just get over it. I've mourned months away on this rickety ship.

I stared into the stars, still I don't believe in God.

Where does Orion keep his belt when he's making love? These looming speckled giants spread ever outward, too far touch.

If God can understand me, does he see I've had enough? I'm his failed invention, sparking and sputtering in the cellar. Just waiting to burn down the mansion someday soon.
Track Name: Asking
Trying to find love and I found you baby. Trying to find the words that will lead you to me.

I heard you like Seagulls, wanna go dissect some?
I heard you like mammals, made a fur coat from them.
I heard you like them naughty so I punched your stomach.
I heard you like my body so let's go get undressed.

Don't know how to ask cause I'm used to stealing. I could never take what you're giving to me. I've waited so long for a real connection to keep my little devils from talking dirty.

I'm a little tipsy from a life of tipping over. Do you mind if I move my seat a little closer? You're a plain Jane baby I'm a car pulling a stroller. I need a straight shooter a tell me to drive slower. I'm missing all my lines oh I'm missing all my cues because look me in the eyes I'm being honest with you. I'm a good man yet to prove himself right. I'm truth telling mute and I'm screaming inside. I just want to love you for the rest of your life. If we get married I could leave my shit behind. We could sit and share music eating Chinese to go, you could tell me all the stories that I never would have known. Show me all your favorite colors, tell me all your favorite jokes. We could laugh for hours and we'll never be alone. I can keep quiet about the places I've gone and we'll make new stories baby I will move on.
Track Name: Manatees
Manatee matinée, they watch us swimming frantically, flapping and snatching at the sea. I sink. I see those sea cows and they just stare and float overhead. My by standing bovine family.

I closed my eyes when I first kissed you. I wanted to feel a broader back, harder arms that could catch me when I fall or swim me to the shore. And I swallow salty death. And through short crashing breaths I think, "I love you."

Down here the manatees don't hear me. They don't see that I am breaking, they don't ponder my motives, they just blame the currents twisting and the pills I was taking, and the gills I am missing. We were fucking in the freezer while my bride and daddy waited. Ah and the way I waded my way into that church, they were the only ones who noticed. They were the only ones who heard. And I taste her drippy lips, runny made up mermaid kiss. And I feel a salty death and through short crashing breaths she said out loud, "I love you."
Track Name: Daughter
Noticed you seem different. Keeping something secret. You've got morning sickness...

Oh, it's real, I'ma try to tell you how I feel.

It's a flypaper plane, you and I are both stuck to it. And I don't want to see another life ruined, we both know it takes a team to do this.

And there's something growing in there, something I already love. A mirror into all the best things I could ever dream of.

Oh, it's real. I'ma try to tell you how I feel. I broke your heart and you know I'm a coward. You know I'd be gone...
If I didn't mean what I'm saying, listen to me I'm on my knees begging. I'm nervous desperate and long overdue to mean what I say and to say it to you.

I've got no more chances, I've got no more options. I can't go on living if I'm not living for someone.

And there's someone growing in there, someone I already love. A person who'll bring out all the best things I could ever dream of.

Oh it's real and I'm sorry for how you feel. You gave me love and I love too much. I love too many and I ebb and flow. But this time darling, I won't let go.
Track Name: Stories
Body comes and body goes, you're always my hero. And I'll keep your stories till the next tide brings you home.

Waiting by the waves I'll be counting every one. Each crashing in your honor, martyrs moving us along. You suffered like a soldier with no trigger on his gun. No chance at glory gory days of hiding from the sun. We're all sick from something you've an extra nasty bug. It tells you to say sorry while you're hacking lovers up. And you shout out guilty while you're screaming in your sleep, but in spite of all your failures you've always been good to me.

Stories tell us what we believe in. Stories show us what we are dreaming.

You think you're such garbage wrapped around a seagull's beak. Oil in a mermaid's eyes and crap stuck in her teeth. She might hate you when she smiles but when you're smiling at me. I know you've been the best man that you possibly could be.

Stories tell us what we believe in. Stories show us what we are dreaming. You might forget. You might run empty. Your soul will live on, stories remind me.