Three years ago, Maren Morris begged for love songs, and holy smokes did she ever get ’em. “To Hell & Back” has the potential to be her fourth chart-topper and her second straight that frames a familiar love story in new and unique ways.
“I Could Use a Love Song” (Morris’ first No. 1 hit) was the song that found her pleading for something that’d fix her broken heart permanently, and since she wrote that song for her Hero album, she found that elixir in love and life. Art often imitates life, and when it does, out comes sincere vocal performances that are hard to argue with. “To Hell & Back” adds the singer’s signature dark strokes, but remains open enough for anyone to access with their own details. It feels like Morris’ story, but it can be ours, too, which is the blueprint for a hit.
Single choices help shape an artist’s image, and as Morris’ career takes off she’s showing more and more vulnerability and letting her guard down. For some, that’s counter-intuitive — the castle walls grow taller to protect the found treasure — and it’s too soon to declare that is the Texan’s intent. Until one has a dozen No. 1 hits, every single matters for the moment, but also for the longevity of their career. This song checks all the boxes.
Did You Know?: “To Hell & Back” is Morris’ seventh single to country radio. The previous six have all been certified Gold or Platinum.
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Maren Morris, “To Hell and Back” Lyrics:
Smoke was coming off my jacket and you didn’t seem to mind / I left a long trail of ashes and you said, ‘I like your style’ / Now, heartbreak ain’t a competition, but I took it in a landslide / The skeletons I wanted to bury, you liked out in the light.
You didn’t save me / You didn’t think I needed saving / You didn’t change me / You didn’t think I needed changing / My wings are frayed and what’s left of my halo’s black / Lucky for me, your kind of heaven’s been to hell and back / To hell and back.
I wonder how you treasure what anyone would call a flaw / You say a pearl without the pressure wouldn’t be a pearl at all / When my demons come a-callin’, you don’t even bat an eye / I don’t scare you, and I guess that’s why …
Smoke was coming off my jacket / And I left a long trail of ashes.