Teen singer writes 'Oklahoma Strong' song

Rebekah Willoughby found a way to contribute her talents to helping tornado victims — she wrote “Oklahoma Strong” and all proceeds from the song's downloads will be donated to the United Way Disaster Relief Fund.
by Heather Warlick Modified: June 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm •  Published: June 11, 2013

Teen's anthem helps keep ‘Oklahoma Strong'

On May 20, thousands of Oklahomans watched helplessly as a monstrous tornado ravaged miles of homes and the trajectories of thousands of lives.

“It was just so surreal, I just couldn't believe it,” said Rebekah Willoughby, 15, of Chickasha. She said she felt helpless. “It was only about a quarter of a mile away from my grandmother's house.”

Her grandmother's house had been damaged in the May 3, 1999, tornado that tore through Moore.

But, as so many creative Oklahomans have, it didn't take long for Willoughby to find a way she could help — through her talent.

“I've been writing songs pretty much as long as I can remember. Since I was very little,” Willoughby said.

The morning after, Willoughby picked up her cobalt blue acoustic guitar and within 30 minutes, she said, she had written “Oklahoma Strong.”

“200 mile an hour wind will knock you down,

Just enough to make this place a ghost town,

Hear the wind whistling even without trees,

See the people falling down to their knees,


by Heather Warlick
Life & Style Editor
Since graduating from University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Staff Writer Heather Warlick has written stories for The Oklahoman's Life section. Her beats have included science, health, home and garden, family,...
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