ROCK legend Van Morrison has vented at the lack of free speech and the kickback against his new anti-lockdown music.
For the past several months, Morrison has been one of the few public figures to voice dissenting views about the government-enforced lockdowns that have swept across the western world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He is outraged at the economic and social costs of lockdown, a policy he deems heavy-handed and propped up by “pseudoscience.”
Live concerts and the jobs associated with them have been particularly devastated by lockdown, but this has not deterred Van, 75, from producing a new album taking aim at the public health measures.
The album, the Latest Record Project: Volume 1, features unsubtly titled numbers such as Why Are You on Facebook?, Stop Bitching, Do Something and They Own the Media.
In one song titled Stand and Deliver, he features with fellow musician and lockdown sceptic, Eric Clapton, 76.
In an interview with the Times of London, Morrison said: “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.
“Some people call it a cult. It is like a religion. Whether anyone agrees with me or not is irrelevant. Just as there should be freedom of the press, there should be freedom of speech, and at the minute it feels like that is not in the framework.
“If you do songs that are an expression of freedom of speech you get a very negative reaction.”
“Just as there should be freedom of the press, there should be freedom of speech, and at the minute it feels like that is not in the framework. If you do songs that are an expression of freedom of speech you get a very negative reaction.”
Morrison says he’s written over 50 songs during the past year, 28 of which feature in his album.
Of one of the songs, “Jealousy,” he says is “about what people say behind your back. People think you have it made. Nobody has it made. You don’t have the answers to life when you’re rich and famous. Some of the richest people are the most miserable.”