Vince Gill gave a performance at the Grand Ole Opry in late May, taking the opportunity to try out a new song live. Called "March On, March On," Gill's new song is a poignant ballad inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing fight for racial justice.

For his performance, Gill performed alone, sitting on a stool and accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. He was playing to what looked like a packed house, as the Opry recently relaxed its audience capacity cap to the pre-pandemic limit after more than a year of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19.

"Hundred bucks says I don't remember the words," the singer joked to the crowd before he launched into his new song.

While the joke offered a moment of levity, Gill's weighty, intimate performance did justice to "March On, March On"'s subject matter. In its lyrics, the song finds him grappling with the shame he carries as a white man bearing witness to the suffering and oppression of Black Americans.

Gill first performance of "March On, March On" was during a February 2021 episode of CBS This Morning that addressed country music's reckoning with racism. Aside from Gill, Maren Morris, Ryan Hurd and Rissi Palmer all appeared during the segment.

During the episode, CBS This Morning also addressed the scandal that broke out in early February surrounding Morgan Wallen, one of the genre's most promising young superstars. Wallen's dramatic fall from grace ensued after video footage surfaced that showed him yelling the N-word at the end of a night of partying, as he bid goodbye to his friends.

Of the incident, Gill commented, "It was just sad. It was just disappointing."

"I knew that everybody was going to massacre country music," he added. "And white America, when they make the argument, ‘Well I hear it in rap music all the time …’ I go, 'Have you not been paying attention to the last 300 to 400 years, how that word has been used by the white community?’”
When he first premiered the song, Gill didn't specify whether he had any plans for "March On, March On" beyond its original performance. He didn't offer any further details from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, either.

Every Country Fan Needs To Have These Songs Memorized:

More From KICK AM, Classic Country