News & Politics  
comments_image Comments

Working-Class Troubadour: Speaking with Folksinger Bill Morrissey's Mother About His Life and Legacy

Marion Morrissey sheds light on her son's development into a legendary political songwriter.

Continued from previous page


Bill's near-draft was not the first time war came up in their family. Bill's father served two years in the Pacific in the Navy, and Bill wrote a tribute to him called "A Victory At Sea." Marion's husband never spoke about the war, but he would quietly watch the show "Victory at Sea," narrated by Winston Churchill, every Sunday.

Like much of Bill's music, the song “Victory at Sea” is poignant, one more that Marion can use to visit her son. But "Birches" is among her favorite of Bill's songs, and following his death, the lyrics to Casey, Illinois are especially touching. The lyrics are, "I can't call you late at night anymore,” she explains. "And every time he plays it, I cry. It's very touching….It's just that right now he can't."

But while he can't call, he can sing to his mother, who will listen to him like she used to stay up late, listening to XPN, hoping to hear her son's voice.

Kristen Gwynne is a freelance writer and an editorial assistant at AlterNet.

See more stories tagged with: