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So Many Partings (clip 1)

Scenes of farewell and of the old ways of life, set to traditional songs reflecting emigration

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Grampian Television documentary about emigration in the 1960s.

A steamer funnel blows, and crowds say goodbye to departing passengers on the quayside. There are emotional shots of people watching the shore recede as the ship sails away, waving corn fields, and wild cotton blowing in the wind. There are landscape shots of lochs, hills, fields and forests.

Songs include: Of A' the Airts the Wind Can Blaw; White Waves on the Water

Updated October 2020

Questions & Activities


  • Why do you think they are leaving and where are they going?
  • What expectations do they have?
  • How is sound used in the clip?
  • Why were these songs chosen?


Discuss the concepts of 'motherland', home and national identity.

Research romanticism around agriculture in art and song.

Discuss the emotions shown in the film as well as the ways emigration is sentimentalised.

Watch the film without the sound and try to work out what the film is about. Then watch the film again with sound and discuss why these words and sounds were chosen.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-137-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref 0806
Date 1966
Genre TV Documentary
School Subject Social Studies, History, Geography, Music, English
Subject Matter Media, Emigration, Immigrants and Exiles, Free at Last, Journeys, Life in the Sixties, International
Who Edward Joffe (director), Grampian Television (production company)
Where Greenock
Event Emigration
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 8:32
Film Length 26:50
References Alan Spence 'Sailmaker'.