McWilson

Singer-songwriter Marsha McWilson of Niagara Falls, who lost seven family members during the pandemic, six of them to COVID-19 including her older sister, Vanessa Walker, has written a song about the virus, which she has named as if it were a hurricane, calling her song the “Corona Mae Blues.” (Contributed photo)

Those who know Marsha McWilson likely know she is usually a bubble of optimism, buoyed by her faith, but this past year has been particularly hard on her.

The Niagara Falls singer-songwriter lost seven people in her family, six of them to COVID-19; and 19 members of her family battled Covid including Marsha, her two sons and her husband.

So McWilson did what she often does when faced with great challenge. She wrote a song about the experience.

McWilson performs locally, including at many music festivals where she has entertains crowds with her impersonation of Etta James. Her previous album featured a song called “Balance,” in which she promotes her idea that each person should strive for balance in their life.

This latest song is different. It comes at the virus head-on. McWilson took a cue from the naming of hurricanes and other massive storms and decided to call the virus Rhona Mae. The song is called “Corona Mae Blues.” In it, she details her anguish at all the losses, especially the loss of her older sister, Vanessa, who died of a heart attack on Christmas Day after contracting the virus during a hospitalization.

The final words of the song are “Girl you don’t get to win this fight.”

Recently, McWilson has been getting attention from local media for her song “Rona Mae Blues” which is on her newly released album.

“That virus was a storm and she came in and tore my family apart,” McWilson said in a phone interview Tuesday.

The singer, who is the owner of McWilson’s House of Beauty and a motivational speaker, was inducted in the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame in 2020. She’s hoping her song will provide inspiration and hope to anyone battling the challenges of this pandemic.

For more information about McWilson, and to listen to her songs, visit her website at www.marshamcwilson.com.

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