Van Morrison teams with Eric Clapton for anti-lockdown song

In “Stand and Deliver,” Morrison and Clapton urge listeners to push back against the narrative they’ve been hearing.

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Van Morrison performs on stage during Music For The Marsden 2020 at London’s O2 Arena in March.

Van Morrison performs on stage earlier this year during Music For The Marsden 2020 at London’s O2 Arena.

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Van Morrison has crafted yet another anti-lockdown tune, this time teaming with Eric Clapton.

“Stand and Deliver,” which dropped Friday, was written by Morrison and performed by Clapton. Proceeds from the blues track will go to Morrison’s Save Live Music campaign benefitting those working in the music industry in the UK and Ireland.

“Eric’s recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations,” Morrison told Variety. “It is heart-breaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry.”

Morrison previously released a trio of anti-lockdown songs in September and October in support of the campaign: “Born To Be Free,” “As I Walked Out” and “No More Lockdown.”

In “No More Lockdown,” the Northern Irishman says the lockdowns “enslave” people and accuses scientists of “making up crooked facts.”

The singer-songwriter has started a petition urging officials in his home country to put an end to the lockdowns put in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The Northern Ireland Executive has refused to quantify the economic impact of the restrictions on live music nor have they provided the scientific evidence to justify the ban,” Morrison said in a statement. “It’s time to make them accountable.”

Much of the world, including the U.S., has been under some form of a lockdown since early this year. That’s likely to continue, health officials say, until a newly developed vaccine is widely available next year. 

In “Stand and Deliver,” Morrison and Clapton urge listeners to push back against the narrative they’ve been hearing, with lyrics such as: “Stand and deliver // You let them put the fear on you // Stand and deliver // But not a word you heard was true // But if there’s nothing you can say // There may be nothing you can do // Do you want to be a free man // Or do you want to be a slave?”

In the U.S., owners of nearly 3,000 venues have formed a new group, the National Independent Venue Association, to lobby for federal assistance allowing the music industry to stay afloat. A survey NIVA distributed to members showed 90% of music venues think they will be forced to permanently close in the coming weeks or months if funding doesn’t arrive. 

“We are at the precipice of a mass collapse of this industry,” NIVA spokeswoman Audrey Fix Schaefer told USA TODAY recently. “These are such good, hardworking, determined people. They don’t deserve to be left out to dry like this.”

Legislation that could provide relief includes the RESTART Act and the Save Our Stages Act. They would provide financial support in the form of loans, grants and tax credits and have bipartisan support.


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