The Last One Out of This Town

by Rich Ferri & the Wealth on the Water

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released May 29, 2012

All music written and performed by Rich Ferri with the help of
Mike Murdock - Drums on tracks 2,3,4,7,10,11
Marina Ferri - Vocals on tracks 4,7,9
Sam Brunner - Guitar on track 7
Dylan Sevey - Mandolin on track 4

Recorded and mixed by Rich Ferri in the winter of 2011 / 2012
Mastered by Alex Saltz at APS Mastering, Astoria NY.

Artwork, design and photography by Brock Lefferts \\\



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Rich Ferri & the Wealth on the Water Providence, Rhode Island

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Track Name: The Long Way Back
We were stuck in traffic on the long way back through the mountain pass where the semi crashed and Peter welcomed him with open arms. And the ice had formed on a U.S. flag hung from a chain-link fence on the overpass that read, “In God we trust with our only boy.”

“At ease my son, for the war we have won. For our brothers on the front, whose bones lay still in foreign soil from the rebels’ smoking guns.”

The wipers froze when the snow picked up. We had no radio in my father’s truck so we sang Saves the Day songs like when we were young. And I raised my mug full of coffee grounds to the welcome sign of that no-bar town that read, “The truth is, some things just don’t matter.” And if that don’t seem right, if the end’s not in sight, if there are men enough to fight, “whose side” matters less in the daylight than who made it out alive.
Track Name: Parallel Lines
back-break boys at the gentlemen’s club
you can define the man by the ale in his cup
i took my seat by Reverend Bell
said, “brother, i won’t tell if you won’t tell”
the back-light caught her sequin dress
like a holy ghost in the modern sense
like a part-time maid in a tired motel
whose dream’s a paycheck and wedding bells

we are on two parallel lines
we’ll be running in circles our whole life
and we’re never to be satisfied
don’t give me those big cemetery eyes
cause no one died… i’ll be alright! you’ll be just fine.

the old country boys made Sunday mass
they washed their sins with the wine in their glass
the pastor stood on the hardwood throne
said, “you earned your bread now start to atone!”
the tabernacle serenades the contractors for their daily wage
the satin doll, the service maid, are lining up to take their place
on two parallel lines.

brother, get your sharpest gun, fix the heavens in your sight
load the barrel with that scripture, make your penance heard tonight
we will run back to the sea wall, don’t give a damn bout what they know
we will lay our flowers by your headstone
and say grace to the earth below
Track Name: Good Men Look Like Me
Coffee and radio news, there’s me waking up to you. The war The West had to lose floods the station. Like decades of steady abuse and a tidal flow of troops could have saved us from that bleak and fated truth.

The sun started wandering through. The blinds cast lines across our room. I laughed at how nature divides. You said, “It’s what we do.” With an incessant need to classify, through filtered eyes, all blame’s assigned, and we sit silent and satisfied among our group.

So storm the beach of Normandy. God said, “Good men die free.” Go brave the desert heat where the oil comes cheap and the good men look like me.

With one crushing defeat of our blessed company, in the streets with the burning effigies. Buried deep in the dirt with our grandfathers for the patriots we served.

So bow you head down to the throne. Hang the flag outside your home. Hang the cross on your tombstone. Hang yourself as your told. Herald those silver shackles. Hide in your Western shadow. Cast every stone. Reap what you sew. March yourself off to battle.
Track Name: The Remnants of a Novel
“Weakness is learned,” says the ashes to the urn, as every street erupts in fire. “Spread everything you’ve earned.” In her corner apartment with the remnants of a novel, she surrendered all her hopes and erased the words she wrote. With but a glance she cast aside notions of a life gone awry and as a ghost, took to the road.

I met her there on a cable car in union square and said, “My love, I’ve finally found you.” I fashioned a ring of something old and something new. We were soon entwined in a reverie of foreign kind. She bore resemblance to the past. I was at ease at last in burning lights.

And it was in that very moment I divorced who I once was. I made a blood-pact with my senselessness to never heed its word. And she cast her light on me and stopped me where I stood. In that old hotel, we escaped the ringing bells. I was stunned and stuttering, stared at my past vanishing but she remained.

The road back to the east coast wasn’t made to be passed on your own. I’ll put my windows down and pass the time nowhere bound. I’ll be waiting for you there when you come home.
Track Name: Salt of the Earth
Bold-faced, as you’re told to be. White lace in place of your jeans. Your dear mother’s philosophy in bold-type through the homily.

I’m guarded and scared to commit, which is more than I’d care to admit, and I quit at the start of my shift as my mind wanders blind with drift.

You’ll be the salt of my earth, to expose the present for what it’s worth. I’ll stammer between my words, and there, you’ll set me free from who I used to be.

That’s when the room starts to spin and I ask myself what I’m doing. That stare paints the street sapphirine. You say, “You don’t have to be who you’ve been.”

You’ll be the salt to my wounds, to make clean what I’m too weak to do. I’ll stammer between my words, and there, you’ll set me free from who I used to be.
Track Name: Weak Bones
It’s such a shame when the last gun is fired, when the bones get weak and blood retires. But the flame still burns in the mind and the shell can’t relay what the brain intends to shine. The left side said to the right, “I don’t understand a thing you’ve said and I’ve heard you my whole life. And now that you’re gone I can’t seem to make sense of anything. This is my time.” Not a thing went according to plan in that house that you built with your weathered hands. For two years you fought for her life but the cancer in her blood had spread and stole your wife. Every night he called out to her. Through paper walls, I heard each word but left him undisturbed. I just hope that she replies and sings him solace through the night until the morning when he wakes up with her. I fell asleep to the uneven breaths from your faltering lungs under your heavy chest. In that stillness I was lost in my own home. When the pulse comes to rest, no regrets, not a moment more alone.
Track Name: Rotten Soul
The old man fell back into his bed and said, “My son, if you’re the last one to hear me speak, listen close, my time is short.” His breath was weak and as the night fell, and the life drew from his cheeks, he stared at old photos of his wife and said, “The widow’s life is not for me.” What’s cruel is always easy. What’s best is just perspective. When he told me he was leaving, I said, “No, I won’t believe it. We’ve got doctors and procedures put in place to keep you breathing…” and it was there I learned not everything that happens has a reason. He sang his favorite tune in time with the heart monitor beeping and said, “Life is short but oh so sweet.” He closed his eyes and just kept singing, “The last one out of this town’s a rotten soul. I fell asleep beneath the lamp light in that godforsaken home. Every memory bends my story as it’s told. I would rather be alone then ever turn back down that road.”

She couldn’t stand the sight of her home town. Everything reminded her too much of him so she filled her lungs and kept it in. Every rumor struck her different and she drank to blur her vision. She stumbled down the stairs looking for an ear to listen. It’s a plastic-spined ambition from the plastic smile that kissed her and the room closed in around her. Every word fell to a whisper. She woke up in a hospital, assumed the silent role, just thankful for a moment without questions. She passed away the hours to the heart monitor beeping and said, “I would die for some release.” She hides her eyes and just keeps singing, “The last one out of this town’s a rotten soul. I fell asleep beneath the lamp light in that godforsaken home. Every memory bends my story as it’s told. I would rather be alone then ever turn back down that road.”

It was a blessing in the form of an outbreak that’s thrilling on paper but terribly painful. Often, with the mask of a savior, the willing are able to make their mistakes and escape unscathed, and you can hear them sing…
Track Name: Catacombs
With a suicide note and a knotted rope, I stammered, “Don’t you move!” And there I lie, a single slide, fixed static in that groove. In the crosshairs of your microscope, you separate my rips, dissect the mess, and turn your eyes from what you can’t forgive. In the catacombs, stranger things have happened and I found a home to call our own. But through my broken bones slipped a melody that spelled it out and let you know what I could never show. With my cynical mind on overdrive, I must have lost a year with my head down. I just lost count and let you disappear. With your dirty blonde and sparking eyes to scared to look away, you talked me down and forced me out into the light of day. That was the year it never snowed, that left us cobwebs in our winter clothes. In classic cars on open roads, your mixtape on my stereo, and we were so in love with the people we’d become. If only we had known that that still wouldn’t be enough.
Track Name: Bruises and Tattoos
“Go on and cut me out of your life!” she screamed. The front door slammed. The baby stayed asleep. The stagnant summer air couldn’t permeate her dreams with a child inside. For all the men who never loved their wives, with two twin beds on opposite sides, a crucifix hangs where the room divides, because we all need something to believe in when we die. We’re all so much older now. She stayed locked up inside with a bible and her shining eyes. It’s more than bad news with your bruises and your tattoos.

The baby had his father’s eyes with his hair parted to the side. Before he even learned how to say Goodbye, his old man walked out of his life. That’s what they call “growing up hard,” too young to tell the birth marks from the scars. If you’ve never come home to food on the stove it doesn’t hurt so bad to starve. So believe me when I die, I’m going to keep you in my mind. There’s no coffin where I’ll reside, just scatter my ashes on the countryside where I’ll be free from the abuse. No more statements to refuse. No excuses for the black a blues. No more bruises and no tattoos.
Track Name: He, the Greatest Deceiver
Two bare-skinned backs on a waterbed mattress with lavender covers. Menacing brother was the first to know and the last to recover as he said to his mother with a sensitive shudder, “I know, and I won’t be there when that bastard leaves and the water settles.”

When the daylight broke through the old faded curtains, through the frosted glass panes into the room where she lay, she was still awake. He smiled and swayed and said, “You look amazing.” She stared at him blankly and said, “Don’t you go falling for me because when I leave, I leave it all.”

There’s a book of quotes annotated in markers placed on the table for when he isn’t able to cope with miles. The nature of time was inconsequential. He pushed it from his mind because there all he sought was in the flesh. The future never mattered less.

It’s a fatal flaw or a masterful craft to be the greatest deceiver, to cater your needs. That’s the day he said, “I will only believe what I am willing to see. The rest will disappear to me. Today I will lie to myself for the first time and won’t ask why.”

He touched her face with the tips of his fingers. Her lips were still wet and her kiss was still lingering and in that bed they were two separate entities: one reminiscing and one forgetting everything.
Track Name: When It's My Turn to Go
It’s not like you sold out, you just rubbed them the right way. When you grow up in this old town, you ain’t something until you’ve escaped, and it’s not that I’m angry or embarrassed at what they might say.

I stayed working through college because the hospital pays, where I sleepwalk the workday with patients wrenching in pain. But as long as there’s sickness, brother, there’s money to be made. I’m scared that’s the truth, but a man’s got to make his wage.

I found a five in storm drain. That’s enough for a coffee and half of a magazine. Now I’m home from a long day and I still can’t remember your name. How you people can stand all the travel, abide by a gavel, walk barefoot on gravel… My god, I’m unraveling. Spare me your judgement and I’ll do the same.

My devil said, “Come down here.” When he spoke it was so sincere. “In the darkness you’ll disappear. You sold your soul out to fear.” And that’s all that I needed to hear.

My mind’s back and fourth like a court room, with my degree as the jury, where proof is independent from truth. So I spit out the bad news and sunk back into my seat like in grade school.

I’m a child and I slipped, spilled my guts, and heard,
“That boy’s not one of us so he’s not to be trusted!”
“Shh.. He’ll hear you!”
“I just did. Yeah, I got the message, I know when it’s my turn to go.”