♫ Solitary Man ♫

I almost didn’t play this song tonight.  I had decided on Neil Diamond earlier in the evening, and when it came time to pick a song, I picked this one.  But then, I was looking into the background information and charting stats when I realized that while it charted in the U.S. and Canada, it wasn’t a huge hit in either, and it didn’t even find its way to the top 100 in the UK or anywhere in Europe.  So, I sighed, and thought that probably nobody but me would like the song, so I switched gears and was going to play Sweet Caroline, which is a nice song, but … it wasn’t what I really wanted tonight.  I was sitting here writing up some trivia to go with the song, and … I suddenly realized I was biting back tears.  It’s been a rough day on several fronts, and … I really wanted to play Solitary Man.  So, I changed gears again, and I don’t feel at all guilty … well, maybe just a wee bit, but not much.

This was Neil Diamond’s first charting single as a recording artist, though he had moderate success previously as a songwriter writing songs for other artists, including the Box Tops and the Monkees.  Of Solitary Man he said …

“After four years of Freudian analysis I realized I had written ‘Solitary Man’ about myself.”

In a 2008 interview …

“Solitary Man was my first song where I tried to really raise the level of my songwriting. It was inspired by the Beatles’ song ‘Michelle,’ which was also written in a minor key. I don’t think I’d ever written a song in a minor key before, it was the first and it kind of broke the dam for me.”

The song would go on to be covered by many others, including T.G. Sheppard, Johnny Cash, HIM, and others, most of which I have never heard.

Solitary Man
Neil Diamond

Melinda was mine ’til the time
That I found her
Holding Jim
And loving him
Then Sue came along, loved me strong
That’s what I thought
Ya, me and Sue
But that died too

Don’t know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who’ll stay
And won’t play games behind me
I’ll be what I am
A solitary man
Solitary man

I’ve had it to here
Bein’ where love’s a small word
Part-time thing
Paper ring

I know it’s been done
Havin’ one girl who’ll loves you
Right or wrong
Weak or strong

Don’t know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who’ll stay
And won’t play games behind me
I’ll be what I am
A solitary man
Solitary man

Don’t know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who’ll stay
And won’t play games behind me
I’ll be what I am
A solitary man
Solitary man
Solitary man
Solitary man

Songwriters: Neil Diamond
Solitary Man lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

34 thoughts on “♫ Solitary Man ♫

    • What a special memory! Yes, he was an entertainer extraordinaire. Some musicians make great music, but they are only musicians. Others add personality and energy, and they are entertainers. Neil Diamond was an entertainer.

      Like

  1. First, to me there isn’t a Neil Diamond song that isn’t worth hearing at least once, the vast majority should be heard again and again…such as this song that you have chosen! If memory serves me correctly, there were at least two of his songs posted earlier this year and I won’t bore you with repeating what was more than likely shared by me then. Except to ask if you finally watched “The Jazz Singer”, as I’m sure that I mentioned that movie?! Second, if a song doesn’t make YOU either smile or teary eyed…find one that does! “Music is what our feelings sound like.” – Vera Farmiga. Third, all are welcome to listen to your choice or not. There are songs that speak to one and not to another, that makes them neither good or bad songs. “Music is meaningless noise unless it touches a receiving mind.” – Paul Hindemith. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your memory never ceases to amaze me! Yes, I played “September Morn” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” both in January of this year. No, I still have not managed to watch The Jazz Singer … I hang my head in shame. It is on my “tbw” list, though … I checked! The Paul Hindemith quote … “senseless noise” … YES! That is exactly what I think whenever I hear heavy metal music … senseless noise, or whoever wrote that song was under the influence of something stronger than wine!

      Like

  2. Jill, this is one of my favorites by Neil Diamond. My wife has seen him a couple of times with her girlfriends. She is a huge fan. Another favorite is “I am, I said.” Can’t go wrong with Neil. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so happy to hear you say that! It’s long been one of my favourites, and I’m really surprised it only made it to somewhere in the 50s on the charts. “I am, I said” … that’s a good one, too!

      Like

  3. This is one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs. I could relate to it because when it first came out I had just learned that my girlfriend at the time was two-timing me, playing games behind me. It took a number of years before I could finally find a woman I could trust.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Though not my favourite Neil Diamond work anymore, it was for years. But there are so many great songs he has written, some he sang, others he gave away (for a fee, of course).
    But for me there is none better than his soundtrack for Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It is my goto record for when my spirit is hurting, and lifts me up when I am feeling down. I might not agree with his symbolism as in Dear Father, but

    BE is a page that aches for a word that speaks on a theme that is timeless
    See is a song in search of a voice that is silent

    Have ever more beautiful lines ever been written? I don’t think it is possible.

    Dear Jill, please don’t ever doubt yourself when it comes to choosing a song to play. Play it for you! Whether we like it or not is not yours to fear. Some will, some won’t, and some may rediscover an old favourite that was forgotten over time–or a new one they have never heard before. I always love hearing Solitary Man. No matter when or where I hear it I am taken back to my youth, probably one of the best times of my life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am amazed that almost all my regular readers love it, when the stats say it didn’t play all that well … yes, it charted in both the U.S. and Canada, but in the 50s range, so not a knock-out. Personally, I lov it. And, I’m happy to find it is your favourite! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s