The 'Brown Eyed Girl' hitmaker comes to his own defense after he received 'very negative reaction' following the release of his anti-lockdown songs amid Covid-19 pandemic.

AceShowbiz - Veteran singer/songwriter Van Morrison is bemoaning the "very negative reaction" to his anti-lockdown protest songs last year (20), insisting he was simply exercising his "freedom of speech."

The "Brown Eyed Girl" hitmaker has been outspoken in his criticism of lockdown measures introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19, which halted almost all live music events in the U.K. from March, 2020.

He dropped a series of tracks outlining his strong views, including one with rock legend Eric Clapton, called "Stand and Deliver", which was released in support of Van's Save Live Music campaign, raising funds for his Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, helping struggling musicians who were unable to perform.

However, Van is dismayed that only Eric paid attention to his plea for fellow famous artists to "fight the pseudoscience and speak up" and he is concerned people are being silenced for expressing alternative views.

He told The Times newspaper's Saturday Review, "The only other person who has any traction or motivation to speak out about what's going on, to get out there and question things, is Eric."

"A few people got a petition together to end the lockdown, but nobody pays attention to petitions, do they?"

"If I can write about it, I do. Poetic licence, freedom of speech... these used to be OK. Why not now? I don't understand it. Some people call it a cult. It is like a religion. Whether anyone agrees with me or not is irrelevant."

"Just as there should be freedom of the press, there should be freedom of speech, and at the minute it feels like that is not in the framework," he grumbled. "If you do songs that are an expression of freedom of speech you get a very negative reaction."

And the crooner doesn't think it's "a given" that live music will return any time soon.

"Your guess is as good as mine because freedom is not a given any more," he said. "You have to fight for it. That's where the blues come in."

Van's views on the state of the world are explored on his new album, "Latest Record Project: Volume 1", which hits retailers on 7 May (21).

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