Emma Sophia Ryan will wow you with her rendition of the 19th-century children's song "I'll Tell Me Ma."
Emma Sophia Ryan became quite an online celebrity ever since the lockdowns in 2020, hosting her own YouTube show and posting videos to social media.
It's clear the public is loving this Kinsale, Cork girl's talents.
Emma Sophia's "I'll Tell Me Ma" video was recorded when she was three in the beautiful country of her hometown of Kinsale, in Cork.
Who is Emma Sophia?
Emma Sophia has been singing since before she could talk! And not just nursery rhymes or princess songs (although of course, she loves Disney too). Unusual for a child of her age, Emma Sophia has amassed an extensive repertoire of Irish folk songs and ballads. Emma Sophia first came to prominence when, at the age of just three, her video of Ireland's Call went viral.
For eight weeks during Ireland's first lockdown in March 2020, she hosted her own show on YouTube, The Emma Sophia Show. Learning and performing a new song every week, she also told jokes, gave Covid-19-related advice, undertook a weekly musical challenge, and interviewed professional musicians via Zoom.
Her music videos have been shared extensively across the globe and have been viewed millions of times across social media platforms.
Emma Sophia was interviewed by BBC Newsline about her singing. In December 2020, she made her stage debut at the Cork Opera House when she was invited to perform "Walking in the Air" for the annual Cork Opera House Christmas Concert. Accompanied by the Orchestra of the Cork Opera House, Emma Sophia thoroughly enjoyed the experience, announcing that she wanted to do that every day.
History of "I’ll Tell Me Ma"
"I'll Tell Me Ma", which is also sometimes called "The Wind" is a well-known children's song that can be traced to various parts of the English in the 19th century.
In Ireland, the chorus of "I’ll Tell Me Ma" refers to Belfast city and is known colloquially as "The Belle of Belfast City", however, it is also adapted to other Irish cities, such as Dublin.
"I’ll Tell Me Ma" was usually accompanied by a children's game. Children formed a ring by joining hands. One player stands in the center and when asked "Please tell me who they be," the girl in the middle gives the name or initials of a boy in the ring (or vice versa). The ring then sings the rest of the words, and the boy who was named goes into the center.
In more modern times numerous articles have covered the song including Van Morrison and The Chieftains from their 1988 album, Irish Heartbeat. There was even a dance version, also back in 1988, with Sham Rock's one-hit-wonder.
Here are the lyrics to "I'll Tell Me Ma" so you can sing along:
I'll tell me ma when I come home
the boys won't leave the girls alone
they pull me hair and stole my comb
well that's alright till I come home
She is handsome she is pretty
she's the belle of Belfast city
she's a courtin' one two three (3 claps)
please won't you tell me who is she
Albert Mooney says he loves her
all the boys are fightin' for her
knock at the door and ring at the bell
tell me oh you true love "are you well"
out she comes as white as snow
rings on her fingers bells on her toes
old Johnny Murray say's she'll die
if she doesn't get the fellow with the roving eye CHORUS
Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high
the snow come tumblin' from the sky
she's as fine as apple pie
she'll get own own love by and by
when she gets a lad of her own
she won't tell her mom when she comes home
let them all come as you will
it's Albert Mooney she loves still.
* Originally published in 2020, updated in Jan 2024.