Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 174 - March 2015


My campaign to be a member of parliament is gathering pace.  'World Peace Through Song' will shortly be a political party.  Just a couple more forms to sign.  Which I suppose means I am, or soon will be, a political party.  Never been one of them before - so that's quite exciting in itself.  The compact disc that accompanies my manifesto, being sent out to over 100 political people in television radio and press, is now available to all and sundry.  If you would like to donate £5 (or more) to my campaign then you will get a 'free' copy of the CD as a thank you.  If you live in America and would like to donate to my campaign then simply stick a $10 note (or more) in an envelope and send it to the address on the CD cover.  You too will get a copy of the CD.  All of you of course will get a big thank you to go along with it.  The address (in case you cannot read it) is > Joe Stead, 47-49 Providence Place, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire. UK.  HX6 1BA.



Whilst talking of a 'big thank you' I must send one publicly to Olive Jennings who has already donated £50 to my campaign completely of her own free will and without the bribery of a 'free' CD.  Olive, it came as a huge surprise and I'm extremely grateful.  You've not yet forwarded your address.  I promise I'll only send you a CD, I won't be doing any night visiting or anything else like that.


My Manifesto reads as follows


Previously a staunch 'Labour Man', Joe been living in Calderdale since 1985. He considers war to be an unnecessary waste of life and resource. Obviously there are times, like 1939, when war is thrust upon you and you have to defend yourself. But both Suez and Iraq were totally unnecessary the latter being an abominable war crime manufactured by both Bush and Blair that has unleashed the understandable hatred of the west by many people of the Muslim faith. Blair should be tried as a war criminal, Bush should be sent to an asylum. This might help to assuage things. But Pandora's box has been opened and now we must deal with the future. Trying to kill people who want to die is not going to solve the problem. We have to communicate friendship and understanding. It is the only way forward. Joe has met and worked with both Paul Robeson, and Pete Seeger, and both these two great men influenced Joe from his teens to the present day. Seeger became a good friend. Joe has sung in concert in America twice with Pete and recorded him at The Royal Festival Hall in 1984 to raise funds for the British miners. He also helped Pete write his book "Where have all the flowers gone".


He firmly believes that every person in the country should vote in the general election, but appreciates that not everybody wants to vote for political parties that take us into unnecessary wars, parties who only look after the rich, parties who breed racism, and the liberal crowd who don't really know what they want. If you want to make your mark by voting, but are at a loss whom to put that cross next to. Well vote for Joe. World Peace through Song. Joe has a manifesto which includes, save Halifax Accident & Emergency, Stop Fracking and protection for dairy farmers. Joe wants to nationalise the railways with free transport on the railways until the next general election for everybody who voted in this election. Income tax will provide the shortfall which will help the poor even more. Millions of pounds will be saved from not increasing the road structure, lives will be saved.


Apply for a CD of Joe’s songs by e-mailing

cd cover

Joe Stead World Peace through Song

My Rainbow Race (reprise)
Tomorrow if not today
Rain and snow keeps falling
The strangest dream
Darkest before the dawn
Where millionaires and paupers are drinking side by side
Paul's Song (St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians)
Somos el Barco
Hearts on Fire
Planet for sale
My Rainbow Race

My thanks to Pete Seeger, Nigel Mazlyn Jones, Kimber's Men, Paul Pettis, Frank Hennessy, Ian Chesterman, Lorre Wyatt and Paul Downes who inspired and helped me in the composition of these songs.



Fixture List for Kimber's Men and Joe Stead




Feb 27th (KM) The Pound, Corsham, Wiltshire.

Feb 28th (KM) Village Hall, North Bradley, Wiltshire.

Mar 13th (KM) The David Hall, South Petherton.

Mar 14th (KM) Spring Arts Centre, East Street, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1BS

Mar 21st (KM) Heron Theatre, Stanley Street, Beetham, Cumbria LA7 7AS

Apr 25th (KM) Recording Studio

Apr 26th (KM) Recording Studio

May 11th (Joe) The Morely Monday Club. 10.30am Paul Robeson

May 11th (KM) Beverley Folk Club, Rose and Crown, Beverley, East Yorkshire

May 15th (KM) Shepley Festival

May 16th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Northumberland.

May 17th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Northumberland.

May 23rd (KM) Met Studio, Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford.

May 28th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 29th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 30th (KM) Ostend Festival

May 31st (KM) Ostend Festival

Jun 12th (KM) Mylor - Venue to be confirmed

Jun 13th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea

Jun 14th (KM) Falmouth Festival of the Sea.

Jul 22nd (Joe) Leeds - Lecture on Paul Robeson.

Jul 24th (KM) Penarth Pier Pavilion, South Wales

Jul 25th (KM) Shammick Acoustic’ Pack o’ Cards, Combe Martin. EX34 0ET

Jul 26th (KM) Village Pump Festival, Westbury, Wiltshire - Provisional

Sep 1st (Joe) Rochdale Masonic Buildings. Richard Street, Rochdale 2pm - Robeson.

Oct 10th (KM) Possible gig at Cecil Sharp House.

Nov 20th (KM) Market Theatre, Market St, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2AQ

Nov 21st (KM) Rhosygilwen, Rhoshill, Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire. SA43 2TW

Nov 28th (KM) Hepworth Live, Hepworth Village Hall, Towngate, HD9 1TE.

Dec 6th (KM) The Bothy Folk Club, Park Golf Club, Park Rd West, Southport

Feb 5th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 6th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 12th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 13th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 19th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire

Feb 20th (KM) Provisional date for Village Halls in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire







Dear Joe,

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you, and congratulations too on your candidacy for Parliament! "The Honourable Joe Stead, MP" does have a nice ring to it.

I was an independent candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1992, running with Jim Glover (formerly of the '60s folk duo, Jim & Jean), an old friend of Phil Ochs and a fellow Hudson River Sloop Singer. Jim decided to run for President and found out that under Florida law (where he was then living) he needed to have a Vice Pres. on the ticket with him. He tried calling a number of friends like Dave Van Ronk, Sis Cunningham of Broadside, and others to join him in his quest. Each refused for various and sometimes interesting reasons.

I was on that distinguished list because I had "political experience" as a member of the Sloop Singer Steering Committee, and had made a sham run for President in that year's New Hampshire Primary. I was out when Jim called but my dear wife Marilyn tossed my hat into the ring for me -- the simple reason being that the next person on Jim's list was Pete Seeger, and she feared a quiet but effective tongue-lashing from Toshi, first at Jim for his temerity, and then at me for not signing on to spare Pete the hassle.

It was a fairly low-key campaign. I designed posters, flyers, and leaflets that illuminated my running mate and myself in the best possible light. The high point of our campaign was my leafleting outside the Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York where Bill Clinton was on his way to becoming the standard-bearer. On Election Night in November, we claimed a moral victory and shared a long-distance drink.

It's a victory for democracy when idealistic (or crazy, or both) folk singers can stand and challenge the powers-that-be. We didn't win, but others have, here in this country and elsewhere, and so if you're thinking of standing for your local seat, I say, "Go for it!"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Having a senior moment and I can't remember if I sent you the lyrics and YouTube link to my song, "Christmas in Iquique." It took almost three months from concept to completion -- a fairly short time by my usual plodding standards, but there was a "seasonal deadline" to consider. I did it out for the first time at our monthly William Main Doerflinger Memorial Shanty Session in the Noble Maritime Collection at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island just before Christmas. My stepson, Eric Hebert, took the video. My friend Bob Conroy plays 12-string guitar and my friend Bob Wright (off camera) plays 5-string banjo. The link is below and the lyric/chord sheet is attached. Hope you like it.

I'm staying indoors today. Snow that changed to freezing rain and has now changed back to snow that will cover the icy spots is not the kind of weather that beckons me to go out and frolic, or shop, or anything. Staying indoors and watching from a distance as others risk life and limb. Hoping too that your winter isn't too miserable.

Steady As She Goes,

Jan Christensen New York.



Hi Joe,

Have been listening to your version of 'Darkest before the dawn' on you tube.

I do like your text Joe!

Please will you be so kind to send me your lyrics?

I want to bring it in the Scheepsfolk-repertoire, think the crew will like it too

Thanks on forehand.

Of course you and Pete get all the credits,

Bye, Catharina. (Scheepsfolk - Holland)




Hello Joe.


How interesting to receive an email from someone such as yourself, I am not sure how I have warranted a space on your emailing list but very pleased to be there.


Now, I am not vain enough to think this email was written to me personally and only to me. However, I am very glad to receive it and be privy to some of your thoughts about music and in particular shanties.

I belong to a group called the Barnacle Buoys and we are a purely an A Capello group who sing for pleasure but sound far better than ever we thought we would and we now perform lots of concerts to raise money for charity including the RNLI…… and from time to time we get invited back!!!!

We formed just about 2 years ago and we have been playing it safe and creating a repertoire made up of all the familiar shanties. However, as a group, we have decided that 2015 is the year we spread our wings and try new things and seek acceptance at bigger venues while continuing to maintain our strong ties to smaller local events. Other things planned for this year is the production of our first CD entitled Barnacle Buoys -The Maiden Voyage and our self-promoted larger scale concert at the Arnolfini Theatre in Bristol. We also have places at the Bristol Folk Festival, Watchet Music Fest, Falmouth Sea Shanty Fest and beyond. And we also intend to push the boundaries a little when exploring new material so your kind gift of 'Darkest before the Dawn' song is very timely and appreciated.

I think it will be very interesting to try a song that has had a limited airing and perhaps keep something alive which otherwise might fade.

Joe, if when you are in the West country again get in touch and the Barnies will look forward to meeting you and showing you what we do. In fact if you can make the concert at the Arnolfini on Saturday 8th August it will be great to see you there.

I will let you know how we get on with the song.

Kind regards

Jeff Martin on behalf of the Buoys




Hi Joe
Good luck with the election.  Know you can make a difference.  At the moment do not think that we will be able to get to hear the Kimber's Men this year.  We go down to Cornwall regularly but not when you are in Falmouth.
Good luck.
Geoff and Jane Bone





Women always knew this . We just couldn't explain it !

One of the all time best explanations for the difference between men and women .

Click on the nothing box below, and make sure you have the volume turned on .

Alternatively copy the Https:// and paste into the top section of Google or whichever server you use.  Worth watching I promise you.



The nothing box.





A few short shots


A husband and wife are trying to set up a new password for their computer. The husband puts, "Mypenis," and the wife falls on the ground laughing because on the screen it says, "Error. Not long enough."





The teacher asked Jimmy, "Why is your cat at school today Jimmy?" Jimmy replied crying, "Because I heard my daddy tell my mommy, 'I am going to eat that p*ssy once Jimmy leaves for school today!'"





A mother is in the kitchen making dinner for her family when her daughter walks in. “Mother, where do babies come from?” The mother thinks for a few seconds and says, “Well dear, Mommy and Daddy fall in love and get married. One night they go into their bedroom, they kiss and hug, and have sex.” The daughter looks puzzled so the mother continues, “That means the daddy puts his penis in the mommy’s vagina. That’s how you get a baby, honey.” The child seems to comprehend. “Oh, I see, but the other night when I came into your room you had daddy’s penis in your mouth. What do you get when you do that?” “Jewelry, my dear. Jewelry.”






Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the private home of the prime minister. One is from London another is from Birmingham and the third is an elderly bearded gentleman from Sowerby Bridge.  All three go with the prime minister's secretary to examine the fence.

The London contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about £900. £400 for materials, £400 for my crew, and £100 profit for me."

The Birmingham contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for £700. £300 for materials, £300 for my crew, and £100 profit for me." The bearded man from Sowerby Bridge doesn't measure anything, but leans over to the secretary and whispers, "£2,700."

The secretary, incredulous, says, "You didn't measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

The bearded man whispers back, "£1,000 for me, £1,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Birmingham to fix the fence."

"Done!" replies the secretary.

And that, is how I'm discovering politics works.



Keep smiling, keep singing