Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 55– April 2005

The General election draws ever closer. I’ve made my views very clear in past Rambling’s, so there is no point duplicating previous copy.

However, before you dash out and vote Labour, just think about the following.
1. Can you vote for a party whose leader deliberately lied to you about Iraq and took you into an illegal, bloody and pointless war?
2. Can you vote for a party who has increased the likelihood of terrorism by attacking innocent Muslim people?
3. Can you vote for a party whose leader deliberately misled you about the death of Princess Diana by withholding important information relating to the late change of vehicle used that fatal night in Paris until March 2005?
4. Is it worth voting for a party when you know that the relationship between the leader and Gordon Brown is now so untenable that Brown will be relegated in his position as Chancellor to that possibly of a bank bencher?

Of course all anyone needs is a little common sense. But common sense is not something that is a truly natural human attribute.

Every morning, normally between 6am and 9am I walk for anything up to five miles along my local canal. People such as The Amazing Mr Smith, Paul Downes, Adrian Nation and Elena Fernanz, all of whom read this monthly rubbish, have at times joined me; although normally at a more sensible time of day! The canal side is however littered with rubbish; more so today than ever before. It should be beautiful countryside but not only do I find paper and bottles and old tires and traffic cones I also come across three piece suites, lawn mowers and dustbins full of worn out electrical goods like drills and sanders. Where is the sense in taking your car (or a lorry) along to a canal side to dump your rubbish when we have various easily accessible sites throughout Calderdale where rubbish can be legally disposed. Where is the common sense in this?

But I suppose those who have traditionally always voted Tory will continue to do so despite their past record, and I suppose those who traditionally always vote Labour because their parents were working class will also continue to do so despite the fact their leader is a proven liar. Common sense or blinkered routine?

Among the letter section is another letter from my good friend Tim Nicolai presently languishing in prison. This time (with Easter in mind) Tim presents us with a letter to Jesus Christ from Judas.

Remember we have a folk night once a month (on the first Friday) at the Puzzle Hall Inn in Sowerby Bridge; and there will be a festival weekend to celebrate my birthday over the weekend of June 17 – 19. All the shows are completely free of charge.
The future folk nights look like a who’s who of folk music:-
April1st Kimber’s Men
May 6th Wilson Family
June 3rd John Kirkpatrick
June 17-19 Folk Festival
July 1st Chris Manners
August 5th Stanley Accrington
September 2nd The Gina Le Faux Band
October 7th Flossie Malavialle
November 4th Eddie Walker

Future guests lined up for 2006 include; Paul Downes, The Amazing Mr Smith, Adrian Nation and Shep Woolley.

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.
Apr 1st (KM) The Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge
Apr 12th (KM) The Old Kings Head, Belper.
May 28th (Joe) Captain Cook Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration in Whitby.
May 29th (Joe) Captain Cook Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration in Whitby.
Jun 1st (Joe) Sowerby Bridge Concert Hall – Valparaiso round the Horn 10am!
Jun 4th (Joe) Maryport Festival of the Sea
Jun 5th (Joe) Maryport Festival of the Sea
Jun 17th (KM) Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (Evening) Free
Jun 18th (KM) Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (All day) Free
Jun 19th (KM) Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (All day) Free
Jun 25th (KM) Jersey Festival of the Sea
Jun 26th (KM) Jersey Festival of the Sea
Jun 28th (Joe) The Queen’s Fleet Review, Portsmouth (Provisional)
Jun 29th (KM) The Cross Keys, Uppermill.
Jul 1st (KM) International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth. (To be confirmed)
Jul 2nd (KM) International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth. (To be confirmed)
Jul 3rd (KM) International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth. (To be confirmed)
Jul 9th (KM) Priddy Folk Fayre
Jul 10th (KM) Priddy Folk Fayre
Jul 22nd (KM) Festival of the Sea – Scarborough
Jul 23rd (KM) Festival of the Sea – Scarborough
Jul 24th (KM) Festival of the Sea – Scarborough
Jul 26th (Joe) New Mill Probus Club – Valparaiso. 10am
Aug 26th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Aug 27th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Sep 2nd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 3rd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 4th (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 7th (Joe) Guernsey Festival of the Sea (provisional)
Sep 8th (Joe) Guernsey Festival of the Sea (provisional)
Sep 24th (KM) Halifax Traditions – All day
Oct 10th (Joe) Harden WI., St Saviour’s, Harden, Bradford – Valparaiso round the Horn
Oct 13th (Joe) Notton W.I. – The life and times of Paul Robeson
Nov 18th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 19th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 20th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 23rd (Joe) Whitkirk Probus Club, Leeds (10.30am) – Valparaiso round the Horn
Dec 3rd (KM) The Square Chapel Halifax
Apr 29th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
Apr 30th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester

I am so sorry to hear of your son's problems. I will think of him as I do my daily Buddhist bit, I will also think of yourself. My own brother was convicted of manslaughter some years ago. Having someone in prison for whatever reason is like having a death in the family. You lose their company. It's not just the prisoner who loses his liberty, the family lose both their liberty and the liberty of the prisoner. I have phrased that rather badly but I am sure you will know what I mean. My Mother and Father could never live with the shame, consequently I lost a brother, not heard from or seen him in 38 years.
Onto a happier note, when is your actual birthday, cos mine is the 19th of June. I am not supposed to know about the surprise party for my 50th, but if I can blag my way to Sowerby Bridge for the 17th/18th it would be a fitting re-meet after 30 years
Regards Big Tim Justice

I am putting together a Trafalgar commemoration project to go round schools in West Yorkshire in October (200th anniversary of the battle). I am looking for singers able to sing shanties & traditional ballads of the period, 3-4 men and one woman, plus a narrator (who could be one of the singers). If you could mention this in your next ramblings, please give my contact details.
Regarding your last Ramblings.
A small but important point: the Lib-Dems weren’t the only party to oppose the Iraq war, they were the only PARLIAMENTARY party to do so. The Greens opposed it, so did the Communist Party of Britain, the Socialist Workers Party, and many of the other myriad splinter groups on the left.
While I salute all the Labour MPs who voted against the war, I am angry with them for allowing Tony Blair to survive. Why didn’t they support the Plaid Cymru motion to impeach him for lying to the house (and all of us also)? My local MP voted against war, but so far as I can see he hasn’t raised a finger to kick out Blair since. Which is why I shall be supporting the Lib-Dem candidate come May 7 (or whenever) because he was a Labour councillor until he was deselected for opposing the war, whereupon he joined the Lib-Dems and romped home. He is still a committed socialist and no doubt would have stayed to fight his corner within the Labour Party if they hadn’t degenerated into the New Tories.
Remember the song I sang at your birthday:
What we need is a new opposition, a new opposition, a new opposition,
What we need is a new opposition,
Cos the old opposition is dead.
I expect May 7 will totally destroy the Tories, and the Lib-Dems will become the new opposition I was calling for immediately after the last election.
Karl Dallas (

Joe, m'darlin,
Of course, Pete was the center of all American folk music growth. Pete had already recorded four collections while Rambling Jack was still Elliot Adnopoz. But Pete, and Lomax, and Woody later admired Jack for having accepted the mantle of America's typical cowboy. The same is true for Bob Dylan who tried to sound like Woody but, as Liam Clancy put it, "He didn't really know Woody except when Woody was sick". Of course, Bob was one of the best of the song writers and that should be enough for any critic.
As for Skiffle, any real Brit must know that Lonnie Donegan was the real innovator. His imitation of Leadbelly singing "Rock Island Line" is one of the funniest recordings of all time. But what the hell did the British public know about down-home music? As a Canadian, born under the royal banner, I have to admit that I, too, had to follow Pete and Alan Lomax and Huddie and Woody and Burl and Josh into the garden of American black and white folk music before WWII.
What's your excuse?
Oscar Brand.

Dear Joe,
I forgot to say to you that I was struck by your account of hooliganism in your West Riding neighbourhood. It seriously made me question my belief that Grimsby is the most lawless place in the UK. Gripping stuff, the way you describe it.
Dai Woosnam

Dear Joe,
In your latest ramblings you comment on the BBC sound mixes in which the story within the lyrics is buried in backing. This is not a new phenomenon. BBC sound mixes often lack understanding of the key features of song. They are often quite bizarre. In 1990 Ray and I were at a Folk Concert in Pebble Mill which was being recorded for broadcasting. One of the groups was Artisan. The lead sound was given to the soprano thus totally missing the characteristic Artisan sound. This of course is derived from the unique voice of Hilary Spencer, the mezzo. Fairport Convention were in the same concert. The sound was good but the stops for "edit point" demanded by Fairport, resulted in some audience reaction. In the broadcast concert some of the applause used for Fairport was in fact edited in from the reaction to Artisan. We know this because Ray's whistle was characteristic and she did not use it for Fairport.
The burying of the vocal in backing has developed from sound engineers who were brought up in heavy rock music where the lyrics are deliberately buried in backing. They are characteristically difficult to decipher (usually a good thing). It may amuse you to know that on the rather rare occasions where we have recorded rock or pop here in Brewhouse, we have been criticised for not enough of the backing in the sound. If we are recording a demo for a singer, to us it seems daft to bury the voice that is looking for a market.
Eric Cowell

Dear Jesus,
Christ man I am trying to help you. You don’t make it easy. You could at least meet me halfway by helping yourself.
“Water into wine!!” For Christ’s sake, they already think you are crazy.
Anyway they’ve got you down for crucifixion next Friday. And there is not much I can do about that, they seem determined to go ahead. You’ll just have to grit your teeth whilst they nail you up.
For God’s sake stop with all those fucking mad stories of sitting at the right hand of your father, and resurrecting to “save people.”
1. They don’t believe you
2. They think you are mad
3. They don’t give a shit anyway
It winds them up, and if they decide to nail you to a burning cross instead that will be the end of sports.
Just shut up, chill out and try to stay alive until nightfall.
Simple plans are always best.
I will be around with the boys after dark, we will pull you down and get out of town.
As soon as we get up the road I will give the boys ten pieces of silver to share and we can split the other twenty two ways.
Mary Mag will be waiting in Galilee.
Keep your head down, and no more of this ‘son of god’ crap.
Your loyal friend
Judas Escariot.

A beautiful young lady went to her local pet store in search of an exotic pet.
As she looked about the store, she noticed a tank full of frogs.
The sign said:
"Sex Frogs! Only $20 each! Money Back Guarantee! Comes with complete instructions."
The girl looked around to see if anybody was watching her and whispered softly to the man behind the counter, "I'll take one."
The man packaged the frog and said, "Just follow the instructions carefully."
The girl nodded and quickly went home.
As soon as she closed the door to her apartment, she read the instructions thoroughly and carefully following the instructions to the letter:
1. Take a shower.
2. Splash on some nice-smelling perfume.
3. Crawl into bed and place the frog in the bed.
She quickly got into bed with the frog but nothing happened. The girl was totally frustrated and quite upset. She reread the instructions and noticed that, at the bottom of the page, there was a note. It said, "If you have any problems or questions, please call the pet store." So, the lady called the pet store. The man said, "I had some other complaints earlier today. I'll be right over."
Within five minutes, the man was ringing her doorbell. The lady welcomed him and said, "See, I've done everything according to the instructions and the damn frog just sits there."
The man, looking very concerned, picked up the frog, stared directly into its eyes, and sternly said:
"Listen to me! I'm only going to show you how to do this one more time.”


A lady walked into a Jaguar dealership to browse, and spotted the most beautiful, perfect "loaded" Jaguar -- and walked over to inspect it closer.
As she bent forward to feel the fine leather upholstery, an unexpected little burst of flatulence escaped her. Very embarrassed, she anxiously looked around to see if anyone had noticed. Sure enough, there standing behind her was a salesman. With a pleasant smile he greeted her, "Good day, Madame. How may we help you today?"

Trying to maintain an air of sophistication and acting as though nothing had happened, she smiled back and asked, "Sir, what is the price of this lovely vehicle?"
Still smiling pleasantly, he replied, "Madame, I'm very sorry to say that if you farted just touching it, you'll sh*t yourself when you hear the price.


The entrance door of the plane opens and two men dressed in Pilots' uniforms walk up the aisle.
Both are wearing dark glasses, one is using a guide dog, and the other is tapping his way along the aisle with a cane.
Nervous laughter spreads through the cabin, but the men enter the cockpit, the door closes, and the engines start up.
The passengers begin glancing nervously around, searching for some sign that this is just a little practical joke. None is forthcoming.
The plane moves faster and faster down the runway, and the people sitting in the window seats realize they're headed straight for the water at the edge of the airport territory.
As it begins to look as though the plane will plough into the water, panicked screams fill the cabin. At that moment, the plane lifts smoothly into the air. The passengers relax and laugh a little sheepishly, and soon all retreat into their magazines, secure in the knowledge that the plane is in good hands.
In the cockpit, one of the blind pilots turns to the other and says, "You know, Bob, one of these days, they're going to scream too late and we're all going to die."


A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car and was pulled over by a woman police officer, who was also a blonde.
The cop asked to see the blonde's driver's license.
She dug through her purse and was getting progressively more agitated.
"What does it look like?" she finally asked.
The policewoman replied, "It's square and it has your picture on it."
The driver finally found a square mirror, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman. "Here it is," she said.
The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back saying, “Okay, you can go. I didn’t realize you were a cop.”


As you know Mahatma Ghandi was the Indian statesman who roused his country to Independence.
He wore no shoes, dressed in a long robe, prayed a lot, ate very little which sometimes resulted in bad breath, in fact he was the model for the well know cinematic song……
"Super calloused fragile mystic exhaling halitosis"


Doctor Dave had slept with one of his patients and felt guilty all day long. No matter how much he tried to forget about it, he couldn't. The guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming. But every once in a while he'd hear an internal, reassuring voice that said:
"Dave, don't worry about it. You aren't the first doctor to sleep with one of their patients and you won't be the last. And you're single. Just let it go..."
But invariably the other voice would bring him back to reality, whispering: ....................
>"Dave, you're a vet..."


TOP 5 SMART ASS ANSWERS FOR 2004...apparently according to Reader's Digest?

Smart Ass Answer #5:
A flight attendant was stationed at the departure gate to check tickets. As a man approached, she extended her hand for the ticket and he opened his trench coat and flashed her.
Without missing a beat....she said, "Sir, I need to see your ticket, not your stub."

Smart Ass Answer #4:
A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but she couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

Smart Ass Answer #3:
The cop got out of his car and the kid who was stopped for speeding rolled down his window. "I've been waiting for you all day," the cop said.
The kid replied, "Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could."
When the cop finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way without a ticket.

Smart Ass Answer #2:
A truck driver was driving along on the freeway.
A sign comes up that reads, "Low Bridge Ahead."
Before he knows it, the bridge is right ahead of him and he gets stuck under the bridge. Cars are backed up for miles. Finally, a police car comes up.
The cop gets out of his car and walks to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, "Got stuck, huh?"
The truck driver says, "No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas."

AND NOW........THE..........FINALE

#1 SMART ASS ANSWER OF THE YEAR 2004...............
A college teacher reminds her class of tomorrow's final exam. "Now class, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury or illness, or a death in your immediate family, but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!"
A smart ass guy in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, "What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?"
The entire class is reduced to laughter and snickering.
When silence is restored, the teacher smiles knowingly at the student, shakes her head and
sweetly says "Well, I guess you'd have to write the exam with your other hand."

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead