Maren Morris’ Song ‘My Church’ Was Inspired by a Trip to California Not Nashville

In 2016, country artist Maren Morris released a single called “My Church.” The song was later included on her 2016 album Hero, which marked her major label debut. “My Church” is one of the most notable songs in Morris’ discography. In an interview with GRAMMY.com, Morris revealed that a trip to California inspired the song’s lyrics instead of Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives.

Maren Morris performs at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival
Maren Morris | Michael Tran/Getty Images

California inspired Maren Morris’ song ‘My Church’

At the 2017 Grammy Awards, “My Church” won Best Country Solo Performance and was nominated for Best Country Song. Morris’ album Hero was also nominated for Best Country Album.

In an interview with GRAMMY.com, Morris explained how “My Church” came to be. According to the singer, California being so different compared to Nashville is what initially inspired the song.

“I started driving in Santa Monica, and once I saw the ocean, you know, Nashville where I live now is very landlocked. So to see the ocean was just a huge moment for me that day. A great song came on the radio, I saw the ocean, I had the PCH open road in front of me. And I felt just really touched by that moment,” Morris told GRAMMY.com.

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What is ‘My Church’ about?

‘My Church” is the lead single on Hero, and it was co-written and co-produced by Morris and busbee. While the title of the song includes the word “church,” the single is not necessarily about religion.

This is because Morris purposefully does not use the word in its most literal definition. Instead, the singer-songwriter uses “church” to describe how at peace she feels whenever she is singing along to music while driving in her car.

In the song’s chorus, Morris sings:

“Can I get a hallelujah/ Can I get an amen/ Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya/ When I play the highway FM/ I find my soul revival/ Singing every single verse/ Yeah I guess that’s my church.”

The singer also uses other types of religious imagery to bring her point across, singing in the first verse:

“I’ve fallen down from grace/ A few too many times/ But I find holy redemption/ When I put this car in drive/ Roll the windows down and turn up the dial.”

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The song is an important piece of Maren Morris’ discography

Before releasing Hero, Morris had released music as an independent artist, and her career was spent writing songs for other artists.

With “My Church” and Hero, Morris shifted into a new phase of her career as a singer-songwriter. In a 2016 interview with NPR, Morris called “My Church” a “tipping point” in her career.

“‘My Church.’ That was really the tipping point for me going from songwriter to artist. Because the second that song was done and we were listening back to it, the first thought in my mind was, wow, they were right, and I’m not sending this to anybody,” Morris shared.

She continued, “I started to picture myself singing it on an awards show, and I never did that. It was just, like, a pipe dream. But with that song, it all changed, and I feel like it’s paid off.”

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