Craig Morgan may have written his new song, "The Mask," well before the coronavirus pandemic, but the lyrics have taken on a new meaning for the country singer in the wake of the global crisis. Morgan co-wrote the mid-tempo ballad with bandleader Mike Rogers and felt "compelled" to release it "in hopes of touching anyone feeling uncertain in this unprecedented time," a press release shared.
The song describes going through life with a mask on, and while the cover in the song is a symbolic one, wearing a mask has become literal due to COVID-19. "Cause when I get home and it's late at night / No one's around and I turn off the light / I cry and scream, and yell like a crazy man," Morgan sings. "I don't have to pretend that I'm doing well / I can tell the world it can go to hell / It's just me and God when I take off the mask." Morgan first performed "The Mask" during an April appearance on the Grand Ole Opry broadcast and also provided it as a "Gratitune" to thank patients and health care workers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. On Instagram, the singer wrote that he is dedicating "The Mask" "to our frontline heroes during the pandemic and to anyone who has put on a brave front to selflessly help others."
Morgan officially released the song shortly after the arrival of his recent album, God, Family, Country, which was released in May. The album contains five new songs along with remastered versions of some of the 55-year-old's best-known songs recorded for Broken Bow Records from 2002 to 2008. The project includes hits like "That's What I Love About Sunday," as well as the song Morgan wrote for his late son, "The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost." The project also features a cover of Gavin DeGraw's "Soldier," and Morgan teamed with active duty Army Airborne Rangers Justin Wright and Andrew Yacovone for the summertime-friendly track "Sippin' On The Simple Life."
"There were days when I didn't want to write songs, but then there were days that felt really good, and I was inspired, and I could feel God's spirit telling me to get off my butt and be grateful," Morgan told PEOPLE of writing for the album. "Rather than worrying about how much time I was missing out with my son, I started focusing on all the blessings I had with him. That's what we should all celebrate."