Music | December 21, 2020 11:05 am

Eric Clapton and Van Morrison’s Anti-Lockdown Song Is as Sad and Dumb as Expected

"Stand and Deliver" is an irresponsible disappointment

van morrison eric clapton
Van Morrison and Eric Clapton perform on stage during Music For The Marsden 2020 at The O2 Arena on March 03, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

After teasing it last month, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton have finally released their collaborative anti-lockdown single “Stand and Deliver,” and — surprise! — it’s pretty cringe-worthy.

The track, penned by Morrison and performed by Clapton, will raise money for Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship fund to benefit musicians whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’d be admirable if Morrison and Clapton weren’t endangering lives by ignoring scientists and public health officials and espousing their anti-lockdown diatribe while the U.K. experiences a spike in cases as well as a new strain of the virus.

On the song, Clapton — who has a history of racism — likens being asked to stay in his house for a while to prevent the spread of a deadly virus to the horrors of slavery, singing, “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?”

Another verse from the deeply embarrassing track goes like this:

Magna Carta, Bill of Rights
The Constitution, what’s it worth?
You know they’re gonna grind us down
Until it really hurts
Is this a sovereign nation
Or just a police state?
You better look out, people
Before it gets too late.

It wraps up by reminding us that “Dick Turpin wore a mask too.” (Turpin was an 18th century British criminal known for highway robbery.)

Again, it’s not just that these two aging icons (both Clapton and Morrison are 75, well within the “high-risk” demographic for COVID-19) made a bad, dumb song. Their anti-mask sentiments are dangerous and could potentially lead to someone with far less money and resources than they have contracting the virus and dying. It’s a disappointment, and frankly it’s a sad stain on two otherwise impressive careers.

You can hear “Stand and Deliver” for yourself below, if you must.

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