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Tuesday 20 February 2018

'Toy show' star's mature lyrics mystify her parents

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

MEET the "little girl with the big song".

A schoolgirl has become a singing sensation after appearing on last Friday's 'Late Late Toy Show', but this was no karaoke performance.

Ashley Tubridy from Mullingar stunned audiences with 'Friends Forever', an original composition which she sang and played on guitar despite being just nine years old.

Far from a nursery rhyme, the folksy guitar ballad was played with the confidence of a seasoned pop star live on prime-time television.

"People were asking me all night was I nervous but not at all. I was more excited about getting the chance to sing live on TV," said Ashley, who is no relation to host Ryan Tubridy,

The reaction of one 'Toy Show' viewer, who posted on You Tube, was typical: "The stage kids on the 'Late Late Toy Show' are just too rehearsed, that's why this amazing performance was a breath of fresh air . . . she wasn't copying anyone, she was just doing her own thing."

Mum Samantha Tubridy said the family had been blown away by the reaction to Ashley's appearance.

"People expect a nine year old to be singing 'Ba Ba Black Sheep' so they're pretty stunned when Ashley gets up and plays one of her own songs," she said.

Part of the surprise comes from the grown-up themes explored in Ashley's songs. Her parents say they are similarly mystified by some of the lines.

"I thought it was meant it be, but now you are living your life away from me" is one couplet in the song 'Friends Forever' which she performed on Friday night.

Mrs Tubridy said: "It's almost like Ashley has adult emotions in a child's body and is able to transfer these into songs. She might go two months without writing anything and then suddenly come down with a whole song finished."

The song is to be released on iTunes before Christmas due to popular demand.

The student from Presentation Junior School in Mullingar has been playing guitar since she was four.

"It would be impressive enough if Ashley was 19, never mind nine," said Thomas Black who operates an independent A&R consultancy service for unsigned artists.

"The song's lyrics are innocent without being childish and the song structure is perfect. She has a bright future if she is steered in the right direction," Mr Black added.

Irish Independent

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