Musician Van Morrison, best known for songs like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Domino” and “Wild Night,” and for seminal albums “Moondance” and “Astral Weeks,” is set to release three songs protesting the U.K. lockdown.
First up is “Born to Be Free,” out Sept. 25, followed by “As I Walked Out” on Oct. 9, and “No More Lockdown” on Oct. 23.
Morrison’s lyrics are straightforward. In “Born to Be Free,” he sings: “The new normal, is not normal/It’s no kind of normal at all/Everyone seems to have amnesia/Don’t need the government cramping my style/Give them an inch, they take a mile.”
“As I Walked Out” features the lines: “Well, on the government website from the 21st March 2020/It said COVID-19 was no longer high risk/Then two days later/They put us under lockdown.”
And, “No More Lockdown” has the lyrics: “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.”
“I’m not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already,” Morrison said in a statement announcing the songs. “It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”
In early September, Morrison played some socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne and London. In August, he had posted a statement on his official website that read: “This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs, this is to get my band up and running and out of the doldrums. This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward.”
“I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this,” the statement continued. “Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudo-science and speak up. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and myself appear to be the only people in the music business trying to get it back up and running again. Come forward. It’s not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs.”
The statement has since been removed from his website.
Morrison’s March concert dates at the London Palladium fell in the early days of lockdown and have now been rescheduled over September and October. He also has an upcoming gig in Madrid and several at his hometown, Belfast.
The musician’s protest songs arrive at a time when the U.K. is looking at a second wave of coronavirus with more than 3,300 new cases recorded daily. Restrictions have been imposed in the North-East of England from Friday.