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Eric Clapton, Van Morrison under fire for anti-lockdown song, ‘Stand and Deliver’

Van Morrison and Eric Clapton pose backstage at London's Royal Albert Hall on April 18, 2009. Listen To The Lion/Lobeline Communcations via Getty Images

Legendary rock musicians Eric Clapton and Van Morrison are under fire for teaming up on an anti-COVID lockdown song, titled Stand and Deliver.

The blues-inspired track was written by Morrison in support of his Save Live Music campaign, and the song is performed by Clapton. It will be available to the public on Dec. 4.

Proceeds from the song will go to Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which helps musicians facing monetary difficulties due to the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions.

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This is the fourth song Morrison has written about the global lockdown measures put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 — though the titles of the three existing songs are much more blatant: No More Lockdown, released near the end of October, Born to Be Free, released on Sept. 25 and As I Walked Out, which dropped on Oct. 9. As with Stand and Deliver, all proceeds from sales of this music go to struggling musicians.

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Some of the lyrics of No More Lockdown are (via Rolling Stone):

“No more lockdown/No more government overreach/No more fascist bullies/Disturbing our peace/No more taking of our freedom/And our God-given rights/Pretending it’s for our safety/When it’s really to enslave.”

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

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Clapton, who told industry publication Variety the lack of live music events over the last several months is “deeply upsetting,” supports Morrison’s push to aid musicians and the live-music experience.

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“There are many of us who support Van and his endeavours to save live music; he is an inspiration,” Clapton said to Variety. “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.”

Social-media users were none-too-pleased with the anti-lockdown song, with many saying it’s dangerous to send that message with COVID-19 infections on the rise almost uniformly around the world. (Most couldn’t be embedded in this article due to profuse explicit language.)

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Canada added 5,631 new coronavirus cases and 89 deaths on Thursday. It is the third-highest daily case increase on record in the country.

Canada now has reported 352,781 cases and 11,799 deaths in total.

With files from Eric Stober