Van Morrison appears to address Northern Ireland health minister on new single ‘Dangerous’

Robin Swann is suing the musician over his past comments on COVID

Van Morrison‘s new track ‘Dangerous’ appears to reference the musician’s ongoing feud with Robin Swann, the Northern Ireland Minister Of Health.

Last November, Swann filed a defamation lawsuit against Morrison over comments he had made regarding COVID-19 earlier in 2021.

During a pre-show dinner event in Belfast in June, Morrison branded Swann “very dangerous” in a response to Swann criticising him for his anti-lockdown stance in a 2020 op-ed, in which he said Morrison’s words “will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists”.

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On Friday (April 29) Morrison released ‘Dangerous’, the third single from his upcoming 43rd studio album ‘What’s It Gonna Take?’, which is due to arrive on May 20 via Exile Productions/Virgin.

The almost-eight-minute number includes the lines: “Somebody said I was dangerous/ I said something bad, it must have been good.” Later, Morrison tells this listener that he “was just looking for the evidence” and asks for “proof“.

The title of the single and the repeated use of “dangerous” could be interpreted as alluding to Morrison and Swann’s dispute, with the word being at the centre of the pair’s row. The artist’s quest for “proof“, meanwhile, is perhaps a nod to his previous controversial claims that scientists were “making up crooked facts” during the pandemic.

You can listen to the song above.

Per his official website,  the forthcoming ‘What’s It Gonna Take?’ “features fifteen new Van Morrison compositions that collectively reflect the artist’s indefatigable drive to record and perform live in front of audiences.”

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The album also includes the songs ‘Fighting Back Is The New Normal’, ‘Fodder For The Masses’, ‘Can’t Go On This Way’ and ‘Damage And Recovery’.

In response to Swann taking legal action last year, representatives for Morrison said their client “regrets that Mr Swann considered it necessary to issue proceedings” and that they were “disappointed by the publicity that surrounds the issue”.

Regarding a planned defence for the singer, they said: “Mr Morrison asserts within that defence that the words used by him related to a matter of public interest and constituted fair comment.”

van morrison free speech anti lockdown songs
Van Morrison. CREDIT: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Last summer saw Morrison end his legal challenge against the Northern Irish government over its ban on live music after COVID restrictions were dropped in the country.

Back in August 2020, the singer criticised the “pseudo-science” of socially distanced gigs and subsequently shared a series of anti-lockdown songs, including ‘No More Lockdown’ which saw him compare the government to “fascist bullies”.

Swann then said: “It’s actually a smear on all those involved in the public health response to a virus that has taken lives on a massive scale. His words will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists – the tinfoil hat brigade who crusade against masks and vaccines and think this is all a huge global plot to remove freedoms.”

 

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