They'll Need A Crane

From This Might Be A Wiki
Official video for “They’ll Need a Crane”

song name They'll Need a Crane
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Lincoln, Lincoln Sampler, They'll Need A Crane (EP), Ana Ng (Single) [European Release], Then: The Earlier Years, Direct From Brooklyn, Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, A User's Guide To They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, Quantity, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 1988
first played January 16, 1988 (69 known performances)
run time 2:33
sung by John Linnell, John Flansburgh sings harmony during chorus


  • The song's video was directed by Adam Bernstein. It was filmed in Central Park, New York City at the Bethesda Terrace.
  • From the Q&A: "Q: Who were the old guys in your 'They'll Need A Crane' video? A: They are professional old guys. The drummer worked for Frank Sinatra in the 50s. The bass player has retired from music and currently writes crosswords for the Daily News, and the keyboard guy is an actor.". Additionally, in the Direct From Brooklyn DVD commentary, Flansburgh says of the bass player in the video, "He wrote crossword puzzles, which was really strange, and actually had sold a bunch of them to the New York Times, which I thought seemed like a dream job."
  • John Linnell would also mention the backing group featured in the music video in a 1989 interview: "They were actors we got through an ad. They're interesting guys — the drummer played with Frank Sinatra. He couldn't really play our song − it was totally modern for him."
  • This song was performed on Late Night with David Letterman in 1989, which marked TMBG's network television debut.

Song Themes

Addiction, Compulsion, Aversion To Work, Body Parts, Drinking, Food, Funny But Sad, Love Gone Sour, Music, People (Imaginary), Real Estate, Sadness, The Senses, Telecommunication, Trade Names


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They'll Need A Crane is currently ranked #10 out of 910. (282 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.12)