Maren Morris shares letter to son Hayes in new music video for protest song ‘Better Than We Found It’
The video begins by introducing Gustavo, a young man who has been living in America under the Dream Act with his younger brother, but in January, they were told that they’d be “sent back to Mexico.”
Next, the clip introduced viewers to Jade and Emma, a pair of protest organizers. The video then introduces the mother and uncle of Daniel Hambrick, a Black man killed in 2018 by a police officer in Nashville.
As the song plays, the stories of each of the people unfold, highlighting their experiences in America.
Audiences can see Hambrick’s family visiting what appears to be the site of his death, Jade and Emma, preparing a sign reading “BLM” and Gustavo expressing his desire to remain in the US.
Black-and-white images of protestors supporting the Black Lives Matter movement are also included in the video.
In the tune, the 30-year-old country star sings: “Can I live with the side that I chose to be on? / Will we sit on our hands, do nothing about it / Or will we leave this world better than we found it? / Over and under and above the law / My neighbor’s in danger, who does he call? / When the wolf’s at the door all covered in blue.”
Later, she adds: “America, America / Divided we fall / America, America / God save us all / From ourselves and the Hell that we’ve built for our kids / America, America / We’re better than this.”
When the song wraps up, the video features a clip of the singer playing with her 6-month-old son Hayes while she can be heard reading a letter written to him.
“Hayes, 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,” began the singer. “My heart grew and would never be the same. You’ve been my precious silver lining these dark last few months.”
Morris told her son that “people are dying, a global pandemic has shut our world down and people are more afraid, angry and distant than ever.”
“I don’t know how it got like this, but I’ll acknowledge my part in it,” she continued. “I have to do better. I will do better for you. Our education must grow alongside our empathy. Any time I get overwhelmed at the mess we created, I try to see the world through your eyes.”
The star praised her son for being “kind and curious,” as “negativity, fear and bitterness haven’t yet touched” him.
“I want to rekindle that in me,” Morris admitted. “It reminds me of pointillism — the art technique of random, tiny dots linked together to create a meaningful, bigger picture once you take a step back.”
She concluded: “I promise to you that I will step back to let you someday lead the way. I will, like you, never stop being kind and curious, and I will spend the rest of my waking days leaving this world that you find so fascinating better than I found it. Love, Mom.”
Morris shares Hayes with fellow country musician, Ryan Hurd.
The video concludes with a title card containing a simple message: “Vote.”
In a statement obtained by Variety last week, Morris said of the song, “I wanted to write something to address exactly how I feel right now, and this came together pretty quickly. It’s a protest song. 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.”
She added that she “still” has “hope for this country and for the future of it” 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.”