‘It’s really to enslave’: Van Morrison condemns coronavirus restrictions in new protest songs

By | September 18, 2020

Northern Ireland musician Van Morrison is set to release three new protest songs condemning the safety restrictions enacted in the United Kingdom to slow the transmission of COVID-19.

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

The songs are titled “Born To Be Free,” “As I Walked Out,” and “No More Lockdown.” He plans to release them every two weeks, starting with “Born to Be Free” on Sept. 25.

In the song “No More Lockdown,” Morrison described the British government as “fascist bullies disturbing our peace” and “pretending it’s for our safety when it’s really to enslave.” Another track, “As I Walked Out,” references specific dates on which the U.K. government changed its coronavirus guidance.

Morrison will also perform them live at socially distanced concerts next month, having already performed some live shows this month. The British government only recently decided to allow live concerts as long as attendees maintain a distance between one another and wear masks.

Around that same time in August, Morrison launched an online campaign condemning the “pseudoscience” backing socially distanced concerts and tried to rally musicians and producers to resume live shows with full-capacity audiences.

“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,” Morrison said about playing socially distanced shows. “This is also not the answer going forward.”

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The U.K. was able to lift restrictions earlier this summer with a slowdown in COVID-19 transmission rates. Now, however, cases in the U.K. are increasing quickly. Government sources confirmed to the Guardian that “active discussions” were underway about instituting a set of England-wide restrictions to last for about two weeks but would not amount to a nationwide lockdown.