Celia Ramsay

Vocalist, Songwriter, Dance Caller, Teacher

Scotland Sojourn

BY THE TIME YOU GET TO READ THIS . . . we'll be there! In Scotland! (Sorry! Making a Glen Campbell By the Time I Get to Phoenix reference is a bit of a reach - especially since the Campbells were from the west!) Husband-Kent and I will be in Scotland to film myself as I chase down the sites where my favorite songs originate. Why am I doing this? Partly as a framework for visiting places that are not strictly on the well-worn tourist path, but mostly to satisfy my deep curiosity to see the places where these songs - that sort of possess me - come from. 

I've spent quite a bit of time visiting Scotland before, but this time we'll tour the northeast. We're very much looking forward to a visit with Jim and Susie Malcolm in Perth and I'm hoping they will help me review my "game plan" and point out any major flaws. Then from Dundee, we can drive out to places like Blairgowrie, Pitlochry, and Noran Water. From there, we'll move in an anti- clockwise direction up around through Aberdeen and Elgin, looping back to the River Spey, because ...DISTILLERIES ARE IN SPEYSIDE! We'll also head west to see Glasgow and visit Alloway - Robert Burns' birthplace. In each place, I'll make some videos of me singing in situ. I'm not sure what will come from this videographic documentation - perhaps a demo video to show what I'd like to offer as a

class on the origins of these songs in the future? More things to share with you in newsletters? Much will be revealed - to me, as well as you! 

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! It's likely you're reading this after the fact, but as a mother, I want to wish all a Happy Mother's Day! If you are a mother, you share the experiences of both delight and fear that this job carries with it. If you are not a mother, you have undoubtedly had one, and the role of being a child carries its own comforts and anxieties over the course of your life with your parents. I am grateful to have two amazing, smart, beautifully different people to call my children. Also, one cannot be a mother without the father who helped you, erm, get into that condition, and I am very lucky to have my Kent, father of Calvaleigh and Webster. 

WHY MORE DANCE? In my previous newsletter, I gave some reasons why you might consider learning to dance and provided a video of how live music can make it irresistible. I know many people worry that they can't learn to dance, but I bet, once you try it--AND do it more than once (because as with all things, learning something new requires practice!) you'll be able to shut down that little judge on your shoulder. It's one of the reasons I like Contra Dance; if you just shut out that voice of judgement, you find it's actually easy to do. And at all Contra Dances, there is a lesson for beginners, then each individual dance is taught. Even if you don't remember what you just learned, the teacher (caller) calls out the figures to help you along till it's clear the dancers are comfortably on track! Watch the video - you'll see!