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'I'm not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already'
Famous Irish singer-songwriter Sir Van Morrison's new anti-lockdown lyrics have been labeled "dangerous" by a health minister in Northern Ireland.
The singer said on Friday that he recorded three new "protest songs" in which he reportedly claims the U.K. government is using COVID-19 lockdowns to "enslave" the people. The new songs are called "Born to Be Free," "As I Walked Out," and "No More Lockdown" and will be released in two-week intervals beginning Sept. 25, AFP reports.
"Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out, and No More Lockdown are songs of protest which question the measures the Government has put in place," a statement on Morrison's website said. "Morrison makes it clear in his new songs how unhappy he is with the way the Government has taken away personal freedoms."
"I'm not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already," Morrison said. "It's about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves."
According to the statement, Morrison "feels strongly that lockdown is in danger of killing live music."
The lyrics to "No More Lockdowns," as reported by the BBC, give an explicit idea of what Morrison thinks of the COVID restrictions adopted in the U.K.
"No more lockdown / No more government overreach," goes the chorus. "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."
Morrison's lyrics also accuse scientists of "making up crooked facts" and, according to the BBC, refer to a viral Facebook post of a screenshot from a U.K. government website saying, "Covid-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK."
"While it is true that Covid-19 does not meet the criteria for an HCID — which typically has a high fatality rate (as much as 50% in the case of Ebola) — the disease is still considered highly infectious, with no specific vaccines or treatment currently available," the BBC reports.
The health minister for Northern Ireland, Robin Swann, described the new songs as "dangerous."
"I don't know where he gets his facts," Swann said. "I know where the emotions are on this, but I will say that sort of messaging is dangerous."
This is not the first time the "Brown Eyed Girl" singer has created controversy over coronavirus lockdown policies. In August, Morrison tried to rally other musicians to "save live music" and campaign against socially distanced gigs.
"I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this. Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudo-science and speak up," Morrison said.
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