Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 118 – July 2010

So as June transcends into July I find myself entering my 70th year. When I was a young lad I often wondered what it would be like to get old. Would I live to see the turn of century? I would be 59 if I did! I hoped I would, and now here I am 10 years later still making myself a nuisance; but enjoying life nonetheless. I’ve seen good friends pass away at all ages from 35 upwards. Tim Sutton (God bless him) had a heart attack whilst pre-season training for rugby; he would have been about 74 by now. Roy Duffin (responsible for my meeting Paul Robeson when we were both aged 17) was only 59 when he died, as was Alan Green (Folk Heritage Records); Neal Bradley was still in his 40’s when meningitis came along; and of course Roger (the cabin boy) Hepworth was taken by cancer when 56. I’ve survived acute appendicitis when aged 6, a pulmonary embolism; I’ve got new knees and various other parts have been patched up. So I’m optimistic that I have a few years left yet.

Meanwhile we face a stringent economy situation for the next few years. We are billions of pounds in debt. Someone should loudly grab hold of the liar Blair and stick his nose in it. The Iraq war was a terrible mistake by our government, sycophants to America and the lunatic Bush. Why was it that so few of us bothered to protest? Why did we let him lie to us about weapons of mass destruction? Not only was it an illegal war it was also a terrible drain on our economy. Some of you, those who did nothing, those stupid enough to follow Blair, deserve the hardships to follow.

Rumour has it that Sepp Blatter is high on the nominee list for the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Now as much as I like Obama (and I am delighted he was nominated president of the USA and I think he’s doing a good job into the bargain) I fail to understand how simply being the first black president of the United States qualifies him for the Nobel Peace Prize. If anything, rather than being an accolade to the black race, it is entirely the opposite. “Oh look! We have a black president, isn’t that wonderful, let’s give him the Nobel Peace Prize!” What a back-handed insult that is, or was. Obama was elected as president because the American public thought him the best man for the job; his colour, officially, had nothing to do with it; although I’m prepared to accept it probably influenced a lot of people below the Mason-Dixon. If you are going to give the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, then why not Bush? Being president of the United States does not qualify for the Nobel Peace Price, indeed normally a president of the USA and a Nobel Peace Prize winner are diametrically opposed. So this brings me on to Blatter! People seem to be raving about Blatter taking the World Cup to South Africa, and what a wonderful, wonderful tournament this year’s soccer world cup has become. What a load of toss. The stadiums are under populated the poor wretches who live in the townships will be no better off; the profits will be creamed off by the rich and powerful. Blatter is probably bathing in the riches himself. FIFA (soccer’s world governing body for the uninformed) is nothing but a mafia, stuck in intransigence, anyway. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that corruption abounds within, but I wouldn’t be surprised. If we are going to nominate Blatter for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, then why not one of my dustmen? They do a far better, and indeed important, job than Sepp (who needs technology) Blatter.

My Daily Telegraph tells me today that General Sir David Richards (high ranking Army man) has declared that the Taliban cannot be defeated by force! Hooray! How many years has it taken them? Why don’t they read my column?

Kimber’s Men will shortly have two ‘new’ albums on the market. Actually they are not ‘new’ but we’ve been signed up to release two completely different ‘Best of’ CD’s. Talking Elephant have taken the best tracks from our first 2 CD’s whilst Delta (look out for us in Tesco’s) are releasing another CD from the live album.

We are at three festivals in July. Two just round the corner, the other in Scotland. See list below. We are also appearing on BBC Radio Leeds in mid July too.

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

Jul 3rd (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 4th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 9th (KM) Stonehaven Folk Festival, NE Scotland
Jul 10th (KM) Stonehaven Folk Festival, NE Scotland
Jul 16th (KM) Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival
Jul 17th (KM) Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival
Jul 18th (Joe) Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival – Life and Times of Paul Robeson
Jul 18th (KM) BBC Radio Leeds (In the evening).
Aug 20th (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 21st (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 22nd (KM) Fano – Denmark
Aug 27th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 29th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 30th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 3rd (KM) Great Yarmouth Festival of the Sea
Sep 4th (KM) Great Yarmouth Festival of the Sea
Sep 5th (KM) Great Yarmouth Festival of the Sea
Sep 11th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 12th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 23rd (Joe) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. The Life and Times of Paul Robeson.
Sep 24th (KM) Blackmore Theatre, Exmouth, Devon. with Exmouth Shanty Men
Sep 25th (KM) The Pack o’ Cards, High Street, Combe Martin, North Devon
Oct 8th (KM) The White Horse Inn, Edwardstone, Suffolk
Oct 9th (KM) Harwich Shanty Festival
Oct 10th (KM) Harwich Shanty Festival
Oct 16th (KM) The Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge.
Nov 12th (KM) St. Michael All Angels School, Meadow Close, Shelf, Halifax HX3
Jan 11th (Joe) Burley in Wharfdale Probus Club – Valparaiso round the Horn
Feb 5th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. – Valparaiso round the Horn


I enjoy reading your monthly missive and often copy and paste sections to NEFolknRoots (500+ members throughout the northeast US). But it may serve all better if you were to join the group and add its posting address - - to your mail list.
You can turn off receiving email during the enrollment process, and if you ever wish to make stand-alone posts or reply to others, you can do so by going to the group.
I will send an invitation to to join the group.
Best regards.
Jeff Boudreau (USA)
Co-host/Producer: “In the Tradition”, Tuesdays 5-8pm, WCUW, 91.3fm

My dear Joe,
It has been wonderful to see progress of Kimber’s Men.
Thanks so much for your Ramblings.
Sending you much love and peace for the coming Summer.
Helen Slater

With regards to ‘In Port’, can I say how pleased I am for you and your colleagues. Being "in on the act", so to speak, is a bonus for me, but it's secondary to the main issue -- that severally and collectively you've certainly earned it through your contributions to the folk scene over a fair old while. How sad that your late Cabin Boy couldn't have been there to enjoy it along with you!
I had meant to discuss the "intro" to Shantyman with you, but wary of putting too much in writing. The 32 verse allegations are great fun . . . and you'll gather from earlier comments that you have quoted in your Ramblings that I find them both amusing and not entirely inaccurate. . . plus it will be obvious from audience reactions on YouTube and elsewhere that others share this amusement. What does concern me is the "publication" angle, and I'd be happier if this were presented as a story of me trying to persuade you to sing the song . . . not really too far-fetched, since my aim has always been to get my songs sung by good singers, and you've always been one of those . . . oops, sorry, I mean a damn good singer! And anyway, you did sing it -- albeit with not quite all the verses -- and have continued doing so for a quarter century . . . for which, as always, heartfelt thanks!
I've been going to Harwich ShantyFest for a few years, and have positive plans to do so again this year. So will look forward to meeting with you there. Really nice festival: you'll enjoy it, I'm sure.
Will also maybe take the opportunity of bouncing Good Morning, Sailor John off you. It's not quite there as yet, but closing in on what it needs to be. . . . . hopefully done and dusted by October.
In the meantime, best wishes with the record and the summer's activities.
Bob Watson.

The CDs have arrived safely - many thanks. A few hours of happy listening bekon!
We didn't need to learn "Don't take the heroes" because we had nothing over a Force 5/6. However, we did get to Mingulay, so were able to sing the "Mingulay Boat Song" while anchored in the bay. "...ere the sun sets in Mingulay" - see attached. Though the author had clearly never visited the place as he would have known that the island doesn't have a pier of any description. Still, why let facts spoil a good song!
Many thanks for the "Ramblings". Will look out for a local gig.
Mark Venn

Dear Joe
Would you gentlemen be willing to let us use clips from Darkest Before Dawn as ‘lead in and out’ soundtrack on a series of university lectures I am compiling to go on ITunes and a University web site. (I'm thinking of about 2 min total) The University is University of California at Santa Cruz (situated on a very beautiful coastline with a grand view of Monterey Bay.) The course is "Blood and Oil" in the Environmental Science Dept, taught by Alan Richards, a very fine Ecological Economist. It is a great course, taking a very hard nosed look at the relations between Oil, politics, and War in the Middle East. If I were to infer politics from choices of songs, I believe you gentlemen would be proud to be associated with this course. You would of course receive a generous credit on the title page, with a link to your web site. I'd send you a DVD of the entire course, and if you want to see what I'm talking about, I could send you a link to a trial version of one lecture on which I've used clips of your singing from UTube.
Very wonderful music. My daughter married a Welshman, sure hope that means the kids can sing like you guys, the boys that is.
Allan Lindh

A young guy walked into the local welfare office to pick up his cheque. He marched straight up to the counter and said, 'Hi - you know, I just hate drawing benefits. I'd really rather have a job.'

The social worker behind the counter said, 'Your timing is excellent. We've just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter.

You'll have to drive around in his 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL, and he will supply all of your clothes. Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You'll also be expected to escort the daughter on her overseas holiday trips.

'This is rather awkward to say, but you will also have, as part of your job assignment, to satisfy her sexual urges, as the daughter is in her mid-20s and has a rather strong sex drive.

'A two-bedroom loft type apartment with plasma TV, stereo, bar, etc located above the garage, will be designated for your sole use and the salary is £200,000 a year.'

The guy says: 'You're bullshitting me!'

The social worker answered: 'Well, you started it - now f**k off''.


1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow. In fact, just piss off and leave me alone.
2. Sex is like air. It's not that important unless you aren't getting any.
3. No one is listening until you fart.
4. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
6. If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.
7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
9. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
10. If you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.
11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
12. Some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree.
13. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
14. Good judgment comes from bad experience ... and most of that comes from bad judgment.
15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
16. There are two excellent theories for arguing with women. Neither one works.
17. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
18. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
19. We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our arse ... then things just keep getting worse.
20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

More Quotations……..

"Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity" thrust upon them.
Joseph Heller "Catch-22"

"That woman speaks eight languages and can't say "no" in any of them."
Dorothy Parker

"She's been on more laps than a napkin."
Walter Winchell

"She's got such a narrow mind, when she walks fast her earrings bang together." John Cantu

"She's so pure, Moses couldn't even part her knees."
Joan Rivers

"She's the kind of woman who climbed the ladder of success - wrong by wrong." Mae West

"She's the sort of woman who lives for others -- you can tell the others by their hunted expression."
C. S. Lewis

"So boring you fall asleep halfway through her name."
Alan Bennett

"She never lets ideas interrupt the easy flow of her conversation."
Jean Webster

"She not only expects the worst, but makes the worst of it when it happens."
Michael Arlen

"She plunged into a sea of platitudes, and with the powerful breast stroke of a channel swimmer, made her confident way towards the white cliffs of the obvious."
W. Somerset Maughan

"You know I could rent you out as a decoy for duck hunters?"
Groucho Marx

"She proceeds to dip her little fountain-pen filler into pots of oily venom and to squirt the mixture at all her friends."
Harold Nicholson

"She should get a divorce and settle down."
Jack Paar

"She was kind of girl who'd eat all your cashews and leave you with nothing but peanuts and filberts."
Raymond Chandler

"No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have; and I think he's a dirty little beast."
W. S. Gilbert

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast."
Oscar Wilde

"Ordinarily he is insane. But he has lucid moments when he is only stupid."
Heinrich Heine

She could carry off anything; and some people said that she did.
Ada Leverson

"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"
Groucho Marx

"She has been kissed as often as a police-court Bible, and by much the same class of people."
Robertson Davies

"She is such a good friend that she would throw all her acquaintances into the water for the pleasure of fishing them out again."
Charles Talleyrand

"She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake."
Margot Asquith



What do you call an exploded kitchen floor in France........
Linoleum blown apart!!!

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead