If you had "Van Morrison and Billy Bragg exchanging unexpected messages about Covid" on your 2023 bingo card, congratulations. For that's a thing that's actually happening.
The roots of this surprisingly public tête-à-tête lie in the new issue of Mojo magazine, in which Bragg – author of the excellent Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World – interviews Morrison about his new album, Moving On Skiffle, a collection of songs inspired by the groundbreaking musical movement.
During the interview, Morrison reveals that one of the songs on the new album was inspired by the hypocrisy of a UK government that implemented lockdown during the pandemic but behaved very differently behind closed doors.
"I have one song on the new album, Gov Don’t Allow, where I address this issue,” says Morrison. “I mean look at ‘partygate’. The media knew what was going on, they just weren’t reporting it.
“These people were saying, ‘Stay at home, wash your hands, blah blah blah, lock yourself up.’ Meanwhile, they’re having parties and the guy who put the science together, he broke his own rules too.
“They’re doing this and telling people you can’t visit anybody in hospital, you can’t go to gigs."
Then yesterday, in a surprise move, Van The Man tweeted (opens in new tab) at the Bard Of Barking, demanding that he answer a set of 18 pandemic-themed questions.
In a tweet headlined, "Questions for Billy Bragg interview by Van Morrison", the Belfast native calls for answers to queries like "Did you just comply and go with the government narrative?", "Are you aware of the agendas of the World Economic Forum?", and "Did you do any research or look up Event 201 that was in October 2019 in New York and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum, to name but two?".
Bragg has now responded with a tweet of his own (opens in new tab).
"I’m a bit surprised at your questions, given I was told not to ask you about your views on the pandemic during our interview," he says. "I got the impression you wanted to avoid discussing the subject. I’m not so squeamish, so here are my responses."
Bragg then proceeds to answer all 18 questions, giving most short shrift by simply using the words "Yes" or "No".
We await further developments.
Moving On Skiffle will be released on March 10. Full tracklist below.
Van Morrison - Moving On Skiffle tracklist
1. Freight Train
2. Careless Love
3. Sail Away Ladies
4. Streamline Train
5. Take This Hammer
6. No Other Baby
7. Gypsy Davy
8. This Loving Light of Mine
9. In The Evening When the Sun Goes Down
10. Yonder Comes A Sucker
11. Travellin’ Blues
12. Gov Don’t Allow
13. Come On In
14. Streamlined Cannonball
15. Greenback Dollar
16. Oh Lonesome Me
17. I Wish Was An Apple On A Tree
18. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
19. I’m Movin’ On
20. Cold Cold Heart
21. Worried Man Blues
22. Cotton Fields
23. Green Rocky Road
Hi Van, I’m a bit surprised at your questions, given I was told not to ask you about your views on the pandemic during our interview. I got the impression you wanted to avoid discussing the subject. I’m not so squeamish, so here are my responses. pic.twitter.com/W6JteOwA7oFebruary 28, 2023