Back in October, in advance of the presidential election, country star Maren Morris surprise-released “Better Than We Found It,” a track that she herself described as a “protest song,” along with a video that addressed the issues of immigration and Black Lives Matter.
“I wanted to write something to address exactly how I feel right now, and this came together pretty quickly,” Morris, whose son was born just weeks earlier, wrote in a statement at the time. “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 still have hope for this country and for the future of it,” she 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.” The song and video are at least partially directed at the wives and mothers of people who may have embraced some of the darker, right-wing impulses of President Trump and the Republican party.
In advance of the Senatorial runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday, Morris performed the song on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday night. She begins the tracksolo, accompanying herself on guitar in a classic folk-song format, but is joined by her full band for the rousing chorus: “When lines of tomorrow are gone/ Can I live with the side that I chose to be on?/ Will we sit on our hands, do nothing about it?/ Can we leave this world better than we found it?”