Eric Clapton and Van Morrison have released a collaboration with an anti-lockdown twist: “Stand and Deliver.” Written by Morrison and performed by Clapton, the track rallies against British lockdown measures implemented in response to rising COVID cases.
"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.
Other lyrics 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.”
Van Morrison said about working with Eric Clapton on the song, "Eric's recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations. It is heartbreaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry."
The song was released in support of Morrison's Save Live Music campaign. Proceeds from "Stand and Deliver" will go to the Morrison's Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which helps musicians struggling as a result of coronavirus.
Eric Clapton explained the theme of the song by saying, "There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music; he is an inspiration. 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."
This is not the first anti-lockdown song to be released. Morrison released a trio of songs back in September — “Born to Be Free,” “As I Walked Out” and “No More Lockdown” — that drew criticism including from Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann, who referred to the songs as “dangerous” in an interview with Rolling Stone.