Van Morrison Is Whining About Free Speech Because No One Likes His Anti-Lockdown Songs

"Poetic licence, freedom of speech... These used to be OK. Why not now?"

BY Allie GregoryPublished Apr 26, 2021

Van Morrison has spent the better part of the pandemic writing and recording truly awful protest songs best described as COVID-truther anthems. Now, the 75-year-old is complaining about the public's reaction to his new tunes, suggesting the reception is an attack on free speech.

Speaking with The Times newspaper's Saturday Review [via Page Six], Morrison compared widespread criticism of his latest work to a religious cult, saying, "If I can write about it, I do. Poetic licence, freedom of speech... These used to be OK. Why not now? I don't understand it."

In the same interview, Morrison praised fellow celebrity truther Eric Clapton, whom he roped into collaborating on a track dubbed "Stand and Deliver" back in December.

"The only other person who has any traction or motivation to speak out about what's going on, to get out there and question things, is Eric," Morrison said.

In addition to blaming the press for infringing on his free speech, Morrison also accused World Economic Forum executive chairman Klaus Schwab of controlling whether government officials will greenlight the return to live music.

"I heard that some music promoters met with the people at Imperial College who are running the whole thing," he said. "Well, really, Klaus is running the whole thing… Your guess is as good as mine because freedom is not a given anymore. You have to fight for it. That's where the blues come in."

Morrison's anti-lockdown crusade began last summer, when he proclaimed that socially distanced gigs are "pseudo-science," only to host an outdoor distanced concert a month later. Throughout the pandemic, he went on to release tracks with titles like "No More Lockdown," "Born to Be Free," "Why Are You on Facebook?," "They Own the Media," "Where Have All the Rebels Gone?," "Big Lie" and more. 

Morrison's forthcoming album Latest Record Project: Volume 1, home to many of these tracks, is due to be released on May 7 through Exile/BMG. It will follow his 2019 release Three Chords and the Truth.

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