Sweet Lorraine

Ready for a dose of sweet, sweet heartache?

Of course you are.

This is the kind of story that makes it feel like Valentine’s Day in August.


Image by L. Prang & Co. via Wikimedia Commons

After 96-year-old Fred Stobaugh lost his wife of 75 years, he did something he’d only done once before:

He wrote a song.

Inspired by loneliness and love, he sat alone in his Peoria, Illinois, home and penned “Oh, Sweet Lorraine.”

Oh, Sweet Lorraine

I wish we could do

The good times

All over again

Shortly after putting his love to lyrics, Fred spotted an ad in the local paper announcing a contest for singer-songwriters sponsored by Green Shoe Studio.

He didn’t suppose he fit either bill, but he just happened to have one song up his sleeve …

Oh, sweet Lorraine

Life only goes around


But never again

“I’ll just send a letter,” Fred remembers thinking, even though contestants were asked to send newfangled YouTube videos of their musical performances.

With old fashioned resolve, he sent his song on paper. He wrote on the envelope, “‘I don’t sing, I would scare people, haha!”

Fred assumed he wouldn’t hear back from young, hip Green Shoe Studio.

But you know he did.

This is just that kind of story.

Contest director Jacob Colgan contacted Fred to tell him that he would like to professionally record “Oh, Sweet Lorraine.”

“Why would you do this for me?” Fred asked.

The answer was plain, Jacob explained, “Your song touched us.”

My memories will always

Linger on

Oh, sweet Lorraine


Listen to the song in the video above, wipe your tears, then go and pick up your own copy of Fred’s song on iTunes. so that you can listen,

again and again and

think about how sweet life can be

if we just will, sweet Lorraine.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hi Mary Jane from the ship heading along the fjords to Bergen! My wifi capacity is limited so the video won’t play but this is such a sweet story! I will make sure to listen when I get home next week. The rugged Norwegian coast along the Arctic Ocean and below is quite beautiful but the sailing gets rough as the storms blow in and out each day. The weather here is cold, rainy, and quite windy most days . But the scenery is breathtaking and the little pristine fishing villages along the coast are the real deal. Looking forward to getting off the ship today and spending the rest of the trip on the ground in Bergen and Oslo. Besides the Farmgirl wagon , stowed in the bow of ths ship is ready to get off and continue onward!!

  2. Deborah Granay says:

    Being a widow myself, I think Fred’s tribute to his wife is perfect and I hope that people everywhere download the song and know the story behind it.

    Thanks for this most rewarding few minutes of watching this video.

    God bless Green Shoe Studio!

  3. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Oh, the tears flow. A love so sweet is always the best. I’m glad you shared this. I don’t usually watch videos, as we have limited data, but my hubby & I sat in we just now & enjoyed it so-o-o much. Then we looked at each other with the same love that we did when we were dating 39 years ago. Thanks to Fred’s tribute to his wife, we are better for hearing it!

  4. karen says:

    Wow, that is just so amazing….75 years…isn’t that incredible? Such sweet love!

  5. Sabrina Spencer says:

    My heart breaks for Fred’s loss…yet rejoices in having such a wonderful love w/ his wife for 75 years. If all couples had their perspective on life and a marriage relationship wouldn’t it be a wonderful world. Thanks Fred for sharing your great love for your wife and exposing your heartbreak….I thank God for giving me such a love in my own life….God bless you Fred, Green Shoe Studio’s and Mary Jane who also seems to have a caring, loving spirit for her husband, family and the world around her….

  6. Bobee-Kay Clark says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Fred’s video was one of the best 10 minutes spent of my week. Fred reminded me how deeply profound love is and how powerful music can be.

  7. Paula Ann Leyva says:

    So very sweet! Loved his song! Wish everyone could know his Love and share it!

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