Proceeds from the song will go to Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which helps musicians facing monetary difficulties due to the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions.
“Do you wanna be a free man/ Or do you wanna be a slave?/ Do you wanna wear these chains/ Until you’re lying in the grave?” Clapton sings on the track.
Other lyrics from the song include, “Magna Carta, Bill of Rights/ The constitution, what’s it worth?/ You know they’re gonna grind us down, ah/ Until it really hurts/ Is this a sovereign nation/ Or just a police state?/ You better look out, people/ Before it gets too late.”
This is the fourth song Morrison has written about the global lockdown measures put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 — though the titles of the three existing songs are much more blatant: “No More Lockdown”, released near the end of October, “Born to Be Free”, released on Sept. 25 and “As I Walked Out”, which dropped on Oct. 9. As with “Stand and Deliver”, all proceeds from sales of this music go to struggling musicians.
Some of the lyrics of “No More Lockdown” are (via Rolling Stone):
“No more lockdown/No more government overreach/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,” said Morrison in a statement on his website. “It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”
Clapton, who told industry publication Variety the lack of live music events over the last several months is “deeply upsetting,” supports Morrison’s push to aid musicians and the live-music experience.
“There are many of us who support Van and his endeavours to save live music; he is an inspiration,” Clapton said to Variety. “We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess. The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.”
Social-media users were none-too-pleased with the anti-lockdown song, with many saying it’s dangerous to send that message with COVID-19 infections on the rise almost uniformly around the world. (Most couldn’t be embedded in this article due to profuse explicit language.)
I'm getting a better idea of who loves to act selfish. I expected better from @EricClapton. Sad. I care about arts and entertainment but we can't be putting lives at risk due to people acting so selfishly. https://t.co/89qZH36qms
— Danielle Solzman, MA in Media Communications (@DanielleSATM) November 27, 2020
I haven’t always made the right decisions, but my childhood decision to plant myself firmly and exclusively on the Jeff Beck side of the Jeff Beck / Eric Clapton war is paying dividends today
— Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) November 27, 2020
I love Eric Clapton and his music, but an anti-lockdown song? Seriously man?? pic.twitter.com/BhUZGHN47O
— 🍺𝙆𝙀𝙂🍺 ➐ (@_KEG_) November 27, 2020
Now that Van Morrison and Eric Clapton are getting worldwide media attention for criticizing public-health experts in a runaway deadly pandemic, allow me to offer my own opinions about why you've been doing brain surgery wrong.
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) November 27, 2020
Eric Clapton, noted expert at killing innocent people through easily preventable negligence https://t.co/76r4b6kAxX
— Truman Chipotle (@LoganJames) November 27, 2020
— With files from Eric Stober