Maren Morris Sends Letter to Son Hayes With ‘Better Than We Found It’ Music Video
Maren Morris' new motherhood is a throughline in her new song "Better Than We Found It," and she uses the accompanying music video to send a letter to her baby boy. The clip, which dropped on Friday (Oct. 2), concludes with Morris reading aloud her promise.
Morris gave birth to Hayes Andrew Hurd, her first son with husband and fellow artist Ryan Hurd, in late March. He appears with Morris in video footage at the end of the new clip, as Morris shares her letter.
"You were born the year the world stopped turning. The moment I first held you, we stared at each other for the longest time. I knew that very moment that you were special," Morris reads aloud. "My heart grew and would never be the same. You've been my precious silver lining these dark last few months."
As Morris explains to her young son, "People are dying. A global pandemic has shut our world down, and people are more afraid, angry and distant than ever." But, as she does in "Better Than We Found It," Morris tries to focus on the need for action to change things.
"I don't know how it got like this, but I will acknowledge my part in it. I have to do better. I will do better, for you. Our education must grow alongside our empathy," Morris continues. "Any time I get overwhelmed at the mess we've created, I try to see the world through your eyes. Negativity, fear and bitterness haven't yet touched you. You are kind and curious. I want to rekindle that in me ..."
In the chorus of "Better Than We Found It," Morris sings, "When time turns this moment to dust, I just hope that I'm proud of the woman I was / When lines of tomorrow are drawn / Can I live with the side that I chose to be on? / Will we sit on our hands, do nothin' about it? / Or will we leave this world better than we found it?" In the final chorus, she changes "that I'm proud" to "my son's proud."
"I promise to you that I will step back to let you some day lead the way. I will, like you, never stop being kind and curious," Morris' letter concludes, "and I will spend the rest of my waking days leaving this world that you find so fascinating better than I found it."
Morris' full "Better Than We Found It" music video features Nashvillians who are working for change: Gustavo Flores, a young immigrant, and his family; Jade Fuller and Emma Rose Smith, two of the young women behind Teens 4 Equality, an action group that organized a large protest following the death of George Floyd; and Sam and Vickie, the uncle and mother, respectively, of Daniel Hambrick, a Black man who was killed by Nashville police in 2018.
Morris co-wrote "Better Than We Found It," which she describes as a protest song, with Jessie Jo Dillon, Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz, and Greg Kurstin produced it. Some of the proceeds from the track will be donated to the Black Women's Health Imperative, a nonprofit organization "created by Black women to help protect and advance the health and wellness of Black women and girls," according to its website.
"I still have hope for this country and for the future of it," Morris says in a statement, "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."
The 2020 ACM Awards Female Vocalist of the Year, Morris is one of the genre's more outspoken artists, using her social media platforms to advocate for causes in which she believes. In a recent CBS This Morning feature, she shared that she and Hurd have placed a Black Lives Matter sign outside their Music City home.
"It's not political, it's not partisan, to be like, 'These people need justice; there needs to be reform.' It's a human issue," Morris says. "People need to know what side you're on, and I want to be on the right side of history."