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Classmate eases pain with lyrics to Ryleys Song

Christina Cortez learned about Ryley Gallinger-Long's death on Facebook the day after he lost his life in Afghanistan.

Christina Cortez learned about Ryley Gallinger-Long's death on Facebook the day after he lost his life in Afghanistan. That night, she did what came naturally to her: she wrote a song about her friend.

'Ryley loved music,' Cortez, 19, said simply.

Childhood neighbors in Cornelius, Gallinger-Long and Cortez forged a strong friendship as students at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in Forest Grove. When they got to high school, she often bounced her creative ideas off him.

'I'd hate something I wrote and Ryley would always tell me it was good,' Cortez said through tears Tuesday afternoon. 'It was just a real personal friendship - we went through a lot together.'

Cortez performed 'Ryley's Song' at Fuiten, Rose and Hoyt funeral home Friday as friends filed by Ryley's open casket.

'Everyone close to him loved him unconditionally,' she said.

listen online

An original recording of 'Ryley's Song' by Christina Cortez can be heard online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqAcDgXJvFk or soon on the website bandcamp.com.