By Rose Barrett
Ruby Moss will celebrate her 14th birthday later this month, and coincidentally, will release ‘Ruby’s Song’ on digital music platforms on the same day!
It was loneliness that inspired Ruby to write the song about her feelings of alienation when she began secondary school in September last.
“It was a Wednesday, and everyone seemed to have disappeared. I was left alone in the classroom, I was so sad,” said Ruby. “It gave me something to focus on – a reason to ‘look busy’ when I felt so alone. When I got home, I wrote the guitar chords and piano. Moving into secondary school was hard.”
Surprisingly mature for her years, Ruby speaks of her love for music, nurtured at St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School which she attended for four years.
With a broad interest in music, everything from Jazz to The Beatles, the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Sinead O’Connor, Susan O’Neill to Sharon Shannon, the teenager plays flute, piano, guitar and the button accordion (an instrument she took up following a Sharon Shannon concert).
She is now attending Dundalk Grammar School where she won an organ scholarship, the first such to be introduced at the facility.
Humorously, she says that, aside from her music, she enjoys everything at school – except PE, “anything bar physical exercise!”
Musicality runs in the family, her uncle Howard Moss who is currently living in Cyprus, played in several tribute bands, among them Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles and he also achieved success with original songs in the Irish charts in the 90s.
“Because Covid closed live gigs down it meant that talented singers were available for vocal coaching. Ruby was lucky to have some slots with Bucky Heard of The Righteous Brothers – he has been absolutely amazing for her voice and confidence,” said Ruby’s mum Louisa (Bucky replaced Bobby Hatfield who died in 2003, to join Bill Medley of the Righteous Bros).
“Ruby’s Song was recorded as part of an U16 programme at The Ivory Sessions in Slane,” said Louisa. “Thanks to everyone involved for giving Ruby this opportunity to have her song heard – we hope her message helps other people to know they are not alone if they feel they are different or alienated for whatever reason.”
Ruby’s song has since been given airtime with Tom Dunne on Newstalk, and Dublin City FM. She has been interviewed by Gerry Kelly on LMFM on the Late Lunch Show, and has since been added to the playlist in Dundalk FM, and has even been played on Radio Saltire in Scotland.
But Ruby has strong feelings on other matters – on animal welfare and environmental issues. She has been a vegan since was almost nine, as are her mum and brother.
It was a choice Ruby made herself, out of respect and love for all animals.
“She wrote a letter about World Oceans Day, which was published in the Irish Examiner in recent months,” said Louisa.
“And she featured in the Irish Times last year, giving a young person’s perspective on surviving Covid.
“Ruby takes in everything around her, she is very quiet but listens and observes. She is very astute and mature, a caring girl with real empathy. I think it’s her strong sense of justice for all animals, including humans that drives her to write.”
“For her birthday, she will be spending three days in the studio to record more of her songs about world issues and personal emotions – more reasons to make me proud,” concluded Louisa.