Responses to the song were predictably strong and predictably divisive. English guitar legend Eric Clapton stepped out early to support Morrison, saying, "There are many of us who support Van and his endeavors to save live music, he is an inspiration! We must stand up and be counted." A piece by the UK news source The Telegraph
also strongly supported Morrison
At the same time, other sources said Morrison was being irresponsible and even dangerous. Uproxx mocked Morrison
with a title stating Van Morrison Was 'Born To Be Free' Of Basic Safety Measures On His First Anti-Lockdown Single
. Rolling Stone preached
that Morrison was being ignorant and selfish.
Morrison's release of the song was part of a personal campaign of anti-lockdown screeds. In a Facebook post he asked that the Northern Ireland Health Minister release all scientfic evidence to the public, questioning the validity of the virus' danger and the resulting lockdown measures.
Morrison also clarified that he wasn't saying that he knew best what should be done. "I'm not telling people what to do or think, the government is doing a great job of that already," he said. "It's about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves."
With the song, he also announced that there would be two more anti-lockdown protest songs coming.