Van Morrison’s First Anti-Lockdown Anthem Is Here
After issuing a garbled and confusing statement last month about the “pseudo-science” surrounding COVID-19, in recent days Van Morrison has made it abundantly clear what he meant. The music legend announced last week that he was planning to release a series of singles condemning the “fascist” lockdown policies designed to combat the spread of coronavirus, beginning today with a track called “Born To Be Free,” which is out now as promised.
Morrison’s anti-lockdown crusade drew wisecracks from Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires and condemnation from Robin Swann, the health minister in Morrison’s native Northern Ireland, who wrote in a Rolling Stone op-ed, “We expected better from [Morrison].” Swann continued, “Some of what is he saying is actually dangerous. It could encourage people not to take coronavirus seriously. If you see it all as a big conspiracy, then you are less likely to follow the vital public health advice that keeps you and others safe.”
This has, of course, not stopped Morrison from releasing “Born To Be Free.” It is very much a Van Morrison song, a loose uptempo acoustic groove marked by playful organ work. But instead of singing about crazy love and brown-eyed girls and whatnot, he’s singing stuff like, “Don’t need the government cramping my style” and “The new normal is not normal/ It’s no kind of normal at all/ Everyone seemed to have amnesia just trying to remember the Berlin Wall.” Hear it for yourself below.