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Van Morrison targets COVID-19 restrictions in new protest songs

Van Morrison performs at the 46th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala in New York on June 18, 2015.
Van Morrison’s new music expresses his thoughts on pandemic restrictions.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)

Van Morrison has never been one to hold back over the years. Why start now?

The 75-year-old singer-songwriter is certainly not holding back on what he thinks of the lockdown restrictions put in place by governments around the world in response to the coronavirus.

Morrison, whose decades as a musician produced classic hits such as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Gloria” and “Moondance,” revealed Friday that he is releasing three protest songs that call for the restrictions on routine activities to be lifted.

In “No More Lockdown," the Northern Irishman says the curbs “enslave” people, effectively labels the British government as “fascist bullies,” condemns celebrities for “telling us what we are supposed to feel” and charges scientists of “making up crooked facts.”

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We polled more than 30 music critics, inside and outside The Times, on the best albums to listen to while you’re stuck at home (and kind of freaking out).

“I’m not telling people what to do or think. The government is doing a great job of that already,” Morrison said. “It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”

Morrison, who was knighted in 2016 for his services to music and to tourism in Northern Ireland, is also releasing “Born to Be Free” and “As I Walked Out.” The former is due to be released on Sept. 25, followed by the other two songs a month later.

Morrison plans to perform the songs during his upcoming shows at the London Palladium.

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Coping with coronavirus fears? Make a Spotify playlist of your favorite songs and belt them out — and open a window so others can hear.


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