A Bug’s Eye View – 1974
Please click the tracks below to play on YouTube.
1. Doug the Bug
2. Steam Train
4. Land of the Old and Grey
5. Credit Card Song
7. Motorway Song
8. Oily Rag
9. Tay Bridge Disaster
10. Keep Out the Hedgerows
11. Bob the Pedigree Sheep Dog
12. What’s Going to Happen
13. Fireman’s Shuffle
14. Worth Valley
15. Five Towns
16. Who Are the British?
Alternatively, please click below to see the full album play list on YouTube.
Mike Donald – Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Bob Siddall – Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin, Banjo
Mike Donald was a professional singer/songwriter from Skipton, North Yorkshire, although he was actually born in Scunthorpe and spent his childhood in Hull. He had a varied selection of jobs before turning full time to songwriting, and each in its own way contributed to his tremendous knowledge of the North, its history and personalities. He worked hard at his trade and this was his fourth album.
He also contributed to four song books as well as publishing several of his own. Concerts, radio and T.V. all helped to make him more widely known and his regular appearances at the Viking Hotel in York on “Yorkshire Neets” were a genuine attraction. These tours of the North in song led to a trip to Hawaii in 1972 on behalf of the British Tourist Authority. He was also invited to play in Las Vegas but home commitments made this impossible.
Another aspect of Mike’s work arose from his love of children and he spent a lot of time entertaining in schools and leading workshops or “teach-ins” at Teacher’s Centres. Many schools used Mike’s songs to help youngsters to study their heritage in the North and awaken their interest in the beauty of the district and its colourful history. He sang of well-known landmarks, wild and beautiful places and of his own animal characters – ‘Doug The Bug’, ‘Tinker’ and ‘Bob The Pedigree Sheep Dog’. The pictures on this sleeve have been selected from a great many works of art produced by primary school children depicting ‘Doug The Bug’.
Mike Often wrote songs in collaboration with Roger Chappell, who was also from Skipton. Roger moved to Ulgham, Northumberland, and sold glassware to whisky distillers; this may have explained his natural ability with words! He had a particular flair for humorous songs, although this didn’t stop him from writing some very fine serious songs such as ‘Tay Bridge Disaster’
Mike worked in concert – as well as in the studio – with a musician he first met at a recording session – Bob Siddall. They seemed to hit it off immediately when Bob told Mike “I have always been eccentric” – and after Bob recorded a series of television programs for the B.B.C they decided to team up. Bob wrote the melodies for Mike and Roger’s words and arranged all the tracks on this record. Bob played the guitar, mandolin and banjo and was one of the few people who could put up with Mike’s ‘Dales Farmer’ jokes.
This team produced songs that were entertaining, sometimes instructional, but always a really affectionate BUG’S EYE VIEW of the North.
Tradition Century – This series was released by Traditional Sound Recordings, and each release was limited to 100 copies only, hence the name Tradition Century.
Doug The Bug – Written by Mike Donald and Roger Chappell
Steam Train – Written by Mike Donald and Bob Siddall
Jennifer – Written by Mike Donald and Bob Siddall
Land of The Old And Grey – Written by Mike Donald
Credit Card Song – Written by Mike Donald and Roger Chappell
Witherslack – Written by Mike Donald and Bob Siddall
Motorway Song – Written by Mike Donald
Oily Rag – Written by Bob Siddall
Tay Bridge Disaster – Written by Mike Donald and Bob Siddall
Keep Out The Hedgerow – Written by Mike Donald and Bob Siddall
Bob The Pedigree Sheep Dog – Written by Mike Donald and Roger Chappell
What’s Going To Happen? – Written by Mike Donald
Fireman’s Shuffle – Written by Bob Siddall
Worth Valley Railway – Written by Mike Donald and Roger Chappell
Five Towns – Written by Mike Donald and Roger Chappell
Who Are The British? – Written by Mike Donald
Label – Tradition Century – TSC 2
Format – Vinyl, LP
Country – UK
Released – 1974
Genre – Children’s, Folk, World, & Country
Style – Folk