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(Credit: Jarle Vines)

Music

Van Morrison hints at political commentary with 'Dangerous'

Northern Irish singer Van Morrison has been a vocal critic of the UK government in recent times, and with his latest song, ‘Dangerous’, seems to be taking a shot at Robin Swann, the Northern Ireland Minister Of Health.

Swann filed a defamation suit against the former frontman of Them, based on comments Morrison made about the ongoing pandemic. Morrison declared Swann to be “dangerous” at a pre-show dinner in Belfast, which was uttered in response to Swann’s criticism of the singer’s stance against the 2020 lockdown procedures. Swann felt that Morrison was pandering to conspiracy theorists at this difficult juncture in time.

Morrison is in the process of releasing his 43rd solo album What’s It Gonna Take?, which is due for release in the United Kingdom on May 20th. The track lasts eight minutes, showcasing the singer’s distrust of the environment that the country has created for him, espousing the virtues of freewill and self-determination. “Somebody said I was dangerous,” Morrison sings. “I said something bad, it must have been good.”

In 2017, Morrison claimed to be apolitical, stating that he barely took notice of what was happening in Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom. Although he was raised Protestant, he also states he is not religious but has given very little insight into whether or not he believes Northern Ireland should reunite with the Republic of Ireland.

“I don’t really know, because it’s different things to different people at different times. I’m not really in touch with a lot of what’s going on whether it be Belfast or UK or anywhere for that matter,” Morrison told Irish News. “I’m just getting on with what I do and my contribution is obviously music and songs and performing.”

Morrison’s career stems back to the 1960s, where he fronted Them, a garage-rock band that Jimmy Page collaborated. Them are probably best known for ‘Gloria’, which was later re-worked by Patti Smith. Morrison has since gone on to enjoy a solo career, and his second album, Astral Weeks, is said to be as reverent of Belfast as James Joyce’s Ulysses is of Dublin.