Eric Clapton and Van Morrison Release Their Anti-Mask Anthem
Talk about an infectious tune!
By Jordan Hoffman
Eric Clapton and Van Morrison, both age 75 and therefore at 220 times the risk of death from COVID-19 compared to people 18 to 29, have released a blues-rock track raging against public health codes.
"Stand and Deliver," written by Morrison and sung by Clapton, includes couplets like "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?"
It continues "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."
The phrase "stand and deliver" is associated with highwaymen, suggesting that Morrison and Clapton feel that governments scrambling to keep their populations alive are somehow stealing from them. The track concludes with the line "Dick Turpin wore a mask too." Turpin was an 18th century British criminal known for highway robbery.
The song was released just as a new and faster-spreading COVID strain was identified in the United Kingdom, with a 40 percent increase in cases from just one week ago. British Heath Secretary Matt Hancock called the new strain of COVID "out of control."
Earlier this year, Morrison referred to preventive measures as pseudoscience, and "Stand and Deliver" marks his fourth anti-lockdown track after "Born to Be Free", "As I Walked Out," and "No More Lockdown." This latest, though, is the first to infect another Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
Van Morrison, whose hits date all the way back to 1964 with the band Them, has written controversial lyrics in the past. His 2005 tune "They Sold Me Out" is one of a series of anti-music industry songs in in repertoire, but repeated references to "shekels" raised some eyebrows at the time. Clapton, during his years of a well-documented drug addiction, went on a notorious racist rant while onstage in 1976, for which he has since apologized.