Grammy-Winner Van Morrison Protests Lockdowns with Anthem ‘Born to Be Free’

Nice, FRANCE: Irish singer Van Morrison performs during the Nice Jazz Festival, 20 July 2005, south of France. AFP PHOTO PASCAL GUYOT (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty

Sir Van Morrison has accused governments of “taking our freedom” in three new songs released to protest against the global coronavirus lockdown and bookend his campaign for live venues to operate with full audiences.

“The new normal, is not normal,” he sings on one track that attacks the micro-regulatory state, before adding, “We were born to be free.”

Recorded “recently” in Belfast and England, the Northern Ireland musician’s three new songs sit in a familiar vein of jazz and bluesy R&B. However, the lyrics hark back to the angry young man who fronted Northern Irish rock group Them in the 1960s.

No More Lockdown is the most strident of the three tracks. “No more lockdown / No more government overreach,” the musician sings in the chorus. “No more fascist bullies / Disturbing our peace.

No more taking of our freedom / And our God given rights / Pretending it’s for our safety / When it’s really to enslave.

Another song references a widely-shared Facebook post, of a screenshot from a U.K. government website saying, “Covid-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK”.

Launching a campaign to “save live music” on his website last month, the 75-year-old said socially distanced gigs were not economically viable.

“I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this.”

The musician also denounced “fascist bullies” in government, saying : “I’m not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already.

“It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”

Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann criticised the singer, telling BBC Radio Ulster: “I don’t know where he gets his facts. I know where the emotions are on this, but I will say that sort of messaging is dangerous.”

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