Winging it on to the BBC…

THERE’S a documentary about Ulster Scots musical ‘On Eagle’s Wing’ on BBC2 NI this evening, with a recording of the stage show this Saturday. Details below.

Straight Forward Film & Television Productions Ltd
proudly presents

On Eagle’s Wing

By John Anderson

The compelling and epic story of the Scots-Irish from their humble
beginnings in the Lowlands of Scotland to their privotal role in
creating one of the greatest nations on earth- the United States of America.

*’On Eagle’s Wing’ – the Documentary
Produced and directed by Moore Sinnerton
Tuesday January 25, 2005
8 pm BBC 2 Northern Ireland*

*’On Eagle’s Wing’ – the Stage Show
The World Premiere recorded live at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Stage direction by Ian McElhinney
Produced by John Anderson
Television presentation by Ken Price
Saturday January 29, 2005
7.10 pm BBC 2 Northern Ireland*

  • James

    So, El Gonzo, how many weeks has the show run?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Dunno mate.

    Maybe Ambrose will know.

  • idunnomeself

    It ran for 2 days, although the producers are now saying that it will tour in the next year

  • Alan2

    It showed last summer. This is the documentary of the Scots-Irish movement from Scotland to ulster and on to the Shendohah Valley and other places in America sprinkled with elements of the Concert. The concert will be screened on BBC 2 NI (available to all Sky Digital viewers BTW – channel number is 960 and from Coast to Coast in the US in the Autumn. The stage show is due to go on tour at that time.)

  • Keith M

    This is a minor story compared with the big entertainment event of today and Liam Neeson missing out again in the Oscar nominations. Even more shocking were the shameful overlooking of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness for best actor and best supporting actor for their high profile roles in “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”. It could of course be that the full multi-million success of the project only bacame apparent after the Oscar dealine!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I saw a few clips of the failed show and it looked like a poor mans Riverdance.

  • Gay
  • James

    It ran for 2 days, although the producers are now saying that it will tour in the next year”


  • aquifer

    Riverdance had better tunes.

    The programme was interesting though. The scottish famines of the end of the seventeenth century helping to displace lowland scots to ireland, famines comparable their relative impact on the then population with the later Irish famine?! Have these revisionists no manners?

  • Alan2

    Ulster Newsletter

    Famine forced lowland Scots across to Ulster

    Arts Correspondent

    THE journey of the Lowland Scots to Ulster came as a result of a famine
    as searing as the Irish potato famine. That is one of the controversial
    statements in a new documentary to be screened on BBC on Burns Night.
    Made by Moore Sinnerton, it traces the journey of the Scots who came to
    Ulster and then emigrated to America. The TV documentary of On Eagle’s
    Wing is a companion piece to John Anderson’s stage musical, which
    premiered at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast last May. The factual history
    celebrates the frontiersmen and settlers, but Sinnerton’s view is a more
    hard-edged look than comic cartoons or simplistic stoiy-books. “What
    pleases me most about On Eagle’s W:ng: The Documentary is that the story
    stands up. By story I do not mean the often exploitative tribal
    propaganda of the culture wars here, but the real story. Of course,
    there were many tales of daring-do on the early frontier, but it’s about
    much more than people running around in coonskin hats planning to be
    president,” he said. The documentary reveals new information about
    migration from Professor Tom Devine, director of the Institute for Irish
    and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen.
    “There has been a tendency in the study of the Ulster migration from
    Scotland to concentrate on the classical Plantation period. “But what we
    know now, and we know it more or less definitively in terms of the
    evidences, is that the vast, vast majority of those of Scots lineage
    living in the Ulster counties in the 18th century had come across, or
    their people had come across, in the 1690s, the very last decade of the
    17th century – and they were victims of Famine.” “If you compare it to
    the Irish famine, then, in terms of per capita loss of population –
    either through emigration or famine-related diseases – it was of the
    same order of magnitude.” The documentary was filmed across Scotland,
    Ireland and America, from the Scottish borders to the stunning
    Shenandoah Valley of Virginia viewed from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    Travelling the Great Wagon Road, Sinnerton has fused documentary with
    music from John Anderson’s stage show. Anderson has been in New York
    editing a DVD of the concert which will be broadcast coast to coast in
    America later this year. On Eagle’s Wing: The Concert will be shown on
    January 29 on BBC 2 NI.
    Tuesday night’s documentary is narrated by the show’s headlining star
    Peter Corry and contains historical facts and historian’s opinions as
    well as imaginative reconstruction. It chronicles the lives of the hardy
    pioneers who built modern-day America. Moore is adamant that it is an
    interesting history for everyone: “Three out of four of my grandparents
    were Scots. I don’t require any lessons on where I came from, but I’d
    really like a wide audience for this history. ‘•Sometimes events aren’t
    as simplistic as the cultural propagandists would have us believe.”

  • Alan2

    “It ran for 2 days, although the producers are now saying that it will tour in the next year”


    Belfast Oyssey Arena

  • dave

    I have seen this show and thought it was fantastic, it is nothing like Riverdance (which is a musical) eagles wing is much more than that

  • IJP

    Sorry to be a Proddy pedant, but this whole thing would be much more presentable and indeed believable if people got the name ‘Scotch-Irish’ correct for a start. If people’s initial research is so shoddy that they can’t get the very name right, it’s hard to be confident about the other ‘historical facts’ presented.

  • James

    You’re a nice and well-intentioned fella, voice of sweet reason and restraint amongst a mad bunch.

    Just the same, Pilgrim, we call ourselves anything we goddamn well please.

    Now off to pedant heaven witcha before some nut gets us into 2nd Amendment territory.

  • davidbrew

    Riverdance had better tunes.

    impossible- I know dentists’ drills with more music in them than Riverdance- still preferred Armando Ianucci’s version of Provos highkicking with paras.

  • Alan2

    Actually IJP it is you that needs to do more research. “Scotch-Irish” is a uniquely American term and even in Northern Ireland I still hear people call Scottish folk Scotch and not Scots. Scots-Irish may well be the correct term but Scotch-Irish has been in use for hundreds of years.

    Scotch-Irish Central

    which includes links to the Scotch-Irish Society, Scotch-Irish Foundation, Scotch-Irish Symposia and the Center for Scotch-Irish Studies.

    Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia

    Scotch-Irish Research

  • Alan2

    That sounded quite rude. Apologies IJP if it came across that way as it was not my intention.

    The Scotch-Irish Society of the United States of America was founded in 1889 under the leadership of Colonel A. K. McClure and the Reverend John S. MacIntosh. Originally known as the Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish Society, its first Constitution and Bylaws stated that its purposes were: the preservation of Scotch-Irish history; keeping alive the esprit de corps of the Scotch-Irish as a people; and the promotion of social intercourse and fraternal feeling among its members.

    The Society has numbered among its members leaders and builders in the nation’s civic, business, and professional life. The Scotch-Irish, blessed with energy, courage, enterprise, goodness of heart, and devotion to duty, have left an indelible mark upon the communities where they have dwelt, upon the churches where so many have zealously served, and upon the government in all its branches, where they have supported efforts to bring to reality for all the promise of a way of life the nation’s founders envisioned.

    The Society is first and foremost American. It believes that it can broaden, deepen, and enlarge the principles from which the nation has drawn the sustaining power for its development by recalling past achievements, remembrances, and associations. The loyalty of the Scotch-Irish to our national ideals has been no better stated than by the first president of the Society, Dr. MacIntosh, when, in 1890, he said:

    “Born and naturalized citizens, we give ourselves anew in this organization to the land for which our fathers and friends gave their blood and lives. We are not a band of aliens, living here perforce and loving the other land across the sea. We belong to this land, and only recall the old that we may better serve the new, which is our own.””

  • James

    “Actually IJP it is you that needs to do more research.”

    No need for research.

    Popeye said it all.

  • dave

    It may well be the case that Americans refer to the Ulster Scots as (scotch irish). that is their prerogative, though my mother would have had their guts for Carter’s as she always made a point of letting people know that Scotch is a drink and comes out of a bottle.

    Please allow the american to spell centre, authorisation and honour which ever way they wish, as for me i will call the “Scotch Irish” Ulster Scots that is my prerogative.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    ‘I have seen this show and thought it was fantastic, it is nothing like Riverdance (which is a musical) eagles wing is much more than that,

    Much more than that indeed, it was an embarrassing flop. Just watched it on BBC2 and the audience could barely raise applause. There is a story out there to be told and while the cast could not be faulted for effort, the content was quite awful.

  • IJP

    Hi Alan – no offence taken (indeed I positively enjoy blunt talking, a very Ulster-Scots thing!), but I don’t really understand your point – are we not actually in agreement?

  • IJP

    To clarify, Alan, I’m arguing for the term ‘Scotch-Irish’ – the programme began with the term ‘Scots-Irish’, which I believe to be incorrect.

  • LJames

    ‘Just watched it on BBC2 and the audience could barely raise applause’

    Did it not get three standing ovations at the end??

  • Bhoy

    Celtic fans don’t like revisionist propaganda.

  • Alan McDonald

    Good evening, Bhoy.

    Could you please clarify what Celtic fans don’t like revisionist propaganda has to do with the 6-month old discussion on this thread?