A schoolgirl has blown away friends and family after composing and performing a heartbreaking original song at her grandpa’s funeral, using his last texts.
Freya Douglass, 14, from Manchester, received a standing ovation after performing live with hundreds more reacting to a video on Facebook.
The text conversation she used started with Freya telling her grandad David Douglass he wrote his messages in the same tone he speaks, which is something she does too.
Freya then told her grandfather: “It’s important to not pretend to be someone you’re not.”
His final reply said: “And why would you, you is you and me is me so endeth the sermon.”
The messages inspired the lyrics to the song that had friends and family telling Freya to send her music to Adele and Ed Sheeran after she performed at the funeral.
“I wonder if he knew that would be his last message to me,” Freya told Jam Press.
“I asked my mum to check her last message from Papa as we called him and hers wasn’t quite so eloquent as it was a shopping list.
“Papa had a great sense of humour and was one of my biggest supporters when it came to singing so I hope he’ll be proud of me following my dream.”
The teenager began singing and performing to crowds at the tender age of three.
Freya said: “I’ve always loved music and singing. As soon as I could talk I would run around the house singing Disney songs at the top of my voice – The Little Mermaid and Tale As Old As Time were my all-time favourites.”
By the age of 10, Freya started taking singing lessons to “learn some expert tips” and gain confidence ahead of performing as a surprise for her mum’s 40th birthday.
She said: “I sang a song from Moana which she absolutely loved.
“Since then it’s given me so much more confidence to sing in public although during Covid I didn’t get to.
“My teacher, Chris, used to be the backing singer for Leona Lewis and is fantastic.”
Aside from performing at birthdays, weddings and funerals Freya also uses her musical talent to raise money for the homeless every Christmas by singing at a local supermarket in Hale Barns.
When David passed away in hospital on 4 November, aged 76, from bile duct cancer, Freya wanted to create a special piece to remember him.
Family members noticed he had jaundice on Christmas day last year and after being admitted to Manchester Royal Hospital, he spent the last 12 months having chemotherapy.
Freya’s dad, Tim Douglass, 45, said: “They really had a special bond and would chat away for hours putting the world to rights, discussing art, current affairs and of course her music.
“David would also help Freya with her maths homework and was so proud of everything she achieved no matter what it was even just a merit point.
“He attended all her music events and when she sang at the supermarket for the homeless would go around telling everyone that it was his granddaughter singing. They truly were a wonderful double act.”
Freya had begun writing and composing songs as part of her GCSE studies and she wanted to use the skills to pay tribute to him.
She said: “I thought I’d put it into practise and write a song about how much I’m missing my grandpa.”
In a video of the performance posted to Facebook by Freya’s uncle, Spencer Douglass, she can be seen playing the keyboard and singing with her younger cousin providing backup vocals at the Axe and Cleaver pub in Altrincham.
Along with praise from those who attended the funeral, the video has also touched Facebook users who have rallied in support of Freya’s performance.
One person commented: “Wow that was amazing, what a beautiful song and a captivating voice, a true talent. What a special tribute to her lovely grandfather.”
“That is amazing and amazing song. Well done Freya. Such lovely words to live by,” another user said.
“Wow she is just totally incredible! What an epic talent she is. Just beautiful and such a great tribute to your dad,’ another comment said.
Someone else added: “Absolutely incredible…brought a tear to my eye. Freya should be very proud, what a wonderful talent she has.”
Another comment said: “Well done Freya. What a beautiful song. You’re such a good singer and amazing voice.”
Freya’s mum, Ruth Douglass, is also in full support of her daughter’s musical endeavours.
Ruth added: “I hope Freya does what makes her happy which at the moment is certainly music. To be able to compose and perform a song like this at the age of 14 has really blown us all away.
“Friends far and wide have been messaging me to say they’ve listened to Freya’s song and it made them cry.
“She is so modest about her ability and I’d love her to know just how fantastic she really is.”