A Dublin teenager’s song about the loneliness she felt starting secondary school during the Covid-19 pandemic has topped the iTunes singer-songwriter chart in Ireland.
14-year-old Ruby Moss opened up about feeling “invisible” in the song, penning it after she found it hard to fit in on starting a new school and when face masks made it difficult to ascertain what her news classmates looked like.
The musician, who lives in Dublin's Cabra, wrote the melody and words when she found herself all alone in the class when everyone else had just left.
She decided to turn her sadness into something positive, to urge others in the same situation not to become despondent and hold firmly onto their dreams.
I'm invisible. Things will get better. This is not forever. You are not alone
In 'Ruby's Song,' she writes: "No-one wants to wait for me, wants to hang around. So I'm on my own another day.
"I pretend to look busy, pretend that I don't care... But in my head, I see it differently. I see everything another way. I know that times are hard. But this is not the end. So don't give up. No, not yet.
"I'm invisible. Things will get better. This is not forever. You are not alone. I'm here for you. Follow your dreams. No matter how it seems. There is only one of you."
The song went to number one in the iTunes singer-songwriter charts last week, and number 11 in the overall iTunes charts for Ireland.
'I'm so proud of her'
Mother Louisa said she hopes her daughter's words encourage others to hold onto their dreams.
"Ruby went through a tough time but I'm so proud of her that she didn't let it get to her. She had been off school so long due to Covid-19 that she found it hard to go back and starting a new school is hard enough in the best of times.
"She found it hard to fit in and make friends when she started and she found herself alone one day when classes finished early, so she wrote the melody and the lyrics there on her phone and composed the piano music and guitar chords later.
"She has written seven other songs over the last year which was a way for her to cope with starting school and Covid-19. Putting her feelings down on paper helps her to understand them and she was then able to focus on positives rather than her sadness.
"She has received a lot of feedback from other young people who relate to her lyrics. So many of us feel the same way sometimes but it isn't always easy to talk about feeling sad."
I've had loads of other teenagers tell me they relate to that song
The teenager, who asked for studio recording time for her 14th birthday last month, plays piano, flute, button accordion and guitar and has just won a scholarship to study the organ.
Ruby added that if her song helps just one person know they are not alone in feeling alone, then she will be delighted.
"After Covid-19 when I started secondary school in a new town, I just found it hard to make friends. I'm a vegan and pretty much when people hear that, they often back away. I don't get teased about it but I do overhear some others say that vegans are weird so I'm left pretty much alone.
"I know how hard it is to be different but that's ok. I don't want to change just to fit in. I've had loads of other teenagers tell me they relate to that song and if the lyrics even help one person to know that being different is actually a good thing, then I'm really glad I wrote it."