The Real Meaning Behind ‘Better Than We Found It’ By Maren Morris

Maren Morris isn’t afraid of taking a political stance in her music, as she proved with her protest song “Better Than We Found It.” Released in October 2020, the pro-Black Lives Matter tune urges America to be “better than this.” 

Morris expresses her perspective as a mother in the lyrics (via Genius), singing, “When time turns this moment to dust/ I just hope my son’s proud of the woman I was.” She also ends the music video with a heartfelt letter written to her son, Hayes. Per Variety, the country singer said that Hayes was “born the year the world stopped turning.”

The rest of the song’s music video features footage of protests, according to Rolling Stone. It also tells the story of two Nashville locals: Gustavo Flores, a teenager who faced imminent deportation to Mexico at the time, and Daniel Hambrick, a black man who was tragically killed by the police in 2018.

The lyrics reflect the gravity of these real-life situations: “Over and under and above the law,” Morris sings. “My neighbor’s in danger, who does he call / when the wolf’s at the door all covered in blue?” So while the message of the song seems fairly clear, what has Morris herself said about it?

Maren Morris still has "hope" for America's future

This isn’t the first time Maren Morris has incorporated her beliefs into a song; in 2015, she wrote “Dear Hate,” a duet with Vince Gill, inspired by the Charleston church massacre and released after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. “Better Than We Found It,” on the other hand, was created in the wake of many Black Lives Matter protests across America in 2020, following the death of George Floyd. “I wanted to write something to address exactly how I feel right now, and this came together pretty quickly,” Morris revealed, per Rolling Stone.

“It’s a protest song,” she added. “It’s the most American thing to protest and protest songs have been so embedded in American culture: Bob Dylan, Nina Simone. I think the world right now is sort of in a perpetual mourning period and I wanted to have a song that had weight but also had hope.”

“I still have hope for this country and for the future of it,” the country star continued, “and as a new mother I wanted to promise my son that I’m going to do everything in my power to leave this world better than the one I came into and the one I see right now.”

Morris decided to put her money where her mouth was too: a portion of the song’s proceeds went to the Black Women’s Health Imperative, a nonprofit formed to protect the health and reproductive rights of Black women and girls.

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