Van Morrison and Eric Clapton Recorded an Anti-Lockdown Single

"Stand and Deliver" is out on December 4

Music for the Marsden concert
Van Morrison and Eric Clapton on stage during the Music For The Marsden concert held at the O2 Arena, London.
Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Under different circumstances, it’s not hard to see how the idea of Van Morrison and Eric Clapton teaming up for a new song might be appealing. One of them is among rock’s most acclaimed vocalists and songwriters; the other is a guitarist lauded for his skill and style for decades. That their collaboration would come on a song addressing the present moment opens up a world of possibilities: could they, perhaps, be working on a song in support of first responders or communities whose health is at risk from the pandemic?

2020 being 2020, that’s not actually what brought Morrison and Clapton together. Instead, the two men have teamed for “Stand and Deliver,” a song opposing pandemic-related lockdowns, which is set for release on December 4. The Chicago Tribune has more information on the song, which Morrison wrote and Clapton performed.

That the song takes the position it does isn’t much of a shock: Morrison has spent the last few months speaking out against the lockdown (and being soundly criticized for it.) On one hand, he’s spoken about the economic ill effects of shuttered venues on the music industry, something few people would argue with; on the other hand, he’s referred to social distancing as “pseudo-science” and supported a return to concerts at full capacity. And Clapton has had his own history of taking troubling stances on issues.

Proceeds from the new single will go towards the Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, Morrison’s initiative to benefit musicians affected by the pandemic. Morrison’s recent songs “As I Walked Out,” “Born To Be Free” and “No More Lockdown” also raised money for the fund.

Wanting to support musicians who are going through a difficult time as a result of the pandemic is eminently understandable; doing so in a way that pits art and science against each other is much more unsettling.

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