On Friday, the duo announced Stand And Deliver, performed by Clapton and written by Morrison.
Proceeds from the track – which is released on Friday – will go towards Morrison’s Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund, which aims to help musicians affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We must stand up and be counted because we need to find a way out of this mess,” Clapton said of the song (via Variety). “The alternative is not worth thinking about. Live music might never recover.”
Shortly after the track was confirmed to be in the works, both artists came under fire, with many suggesting that protesting lockdown measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus may not be the best use of their platforms:
The controversy also caused past comments made by the musician – most notably during a concert in 1976, when he spoke out against immigration, repeatedly used racist slurs and declared that he wanted to “keep Britain white” – to resurface on social media:
In 2018, Clapton said he was “disgusted” with himself for the language that he’d used at that time.
Van Morrison has already released three anti-lockdown songs during September and October; Born To Be Free, As I Walked Out and the less imaginatively-titled No More Lockdown.
“Eric’s recording is fantastic and will clearly resonate with the many who share our frustrations”, Morrison said of his new collaboration with Clapton.
“It is heartbreaking to see so many talented musicians lack any meaningful support from the government, but we want to reassure them that we are working hard every day to lobby for the return of live music, and to save our industry.”