Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson - Composed by John C Grant ( Traditional composer from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Ruth Sanderson and Mark Thompson from 'Below the Radar Productions' series 'Hame'

Renowned broadcaster and prolific blogger Mark Thompson hails from Ballyhalbert on the captivating Ards Peninsula, where he proudly speaks the Ulster-Scots dialect. His vibrant presence graces both television and radio platforms, where he fervently expresses his deep-rooted affinity for Robert Burns and the broader Scots language and culture. With an unwavering commitment, he champions the interwoven tapestry of culture spanning from Scotland and Ireland to the far reaches of the Americas.

Recently, Mark Thompson embarked on an enlightening journey, collaborating with Scottish writer and broadcaster Alistair Heather. Together, they crafted a documentary that delved into the treasure trove that is the Gibson Collection, housed at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast. This collection bears significant works by the celebrated Robert Burns.

The Ulster Scots, known as Ulstèr-Scotch in their dialect or Albanaigh Ultach in Irish, encompass a distinctive ethnic group within Ireland. These individuals communicate through an Ulster Scots dialect of the broader Scots language, a West Germanic tongue, all while sharing a rich historical tapestry, cultural heritage, and ancestral ties. Rooted in their ethnicity, they primarily descend from Scottish pioneers who settled in Northern Ireland during the 17th century.

Primarily concentrated in the province of Ulster, and to a lesser extent in other parts of Ireland, their forebears were Protestant settlers, predominantly of the Presbyterian faith. They undertook a migration from the Scottish Lowlands and Northern England as part of the Plantation of Ulster, a government-sanctioned colonization effort. Their origins trace back to diverse regions, including Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, the Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria, Yorkshire, and to a lesser degree, the Scottish Highlands. It’s notable that Northern Ireland constitutes one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom, housing a populace largely comprising British and/or Irish citizens.

The initial migration of Ulster Scots to Ireland can be attributed to the orchestrated Plantation of Ulster, a strategic colonization initiative led by James VI of Scotland and I of England. This endeavor involved settling confiscated land from Gaelic nobility members who had fled Ulster. Subsequently, a significant and less planned wave of settlement also contributed to their presence.

Notably, Ulster Scots embarked on substantial emigration from Ireland to the American colonies, later evolving into the United States, and other corners of the British Empire. In this context, the term “Scotch-Irish” or “Scots-Irish” was coined to refer to Ulster Scots who ventured to America.

Mark Thompson - Composed by John C Grant ( Traditional composer from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

A guide track for ‘Mark Thompson’ is available below for listening: -

You can download a PDF of the sheet music here - or braille format here.

The track is additionally available within the following collections and sets: -

Associated Collections: -
6/8 Bagpipe March The Tarbolton Collection