♫ Sweet Caroline ♫ (Redux)

This one popped into my head a few nights ago, but I had already decided on another song by that time, so I saved it thinking I would play it one night later in the week.  And then, our friend Roger just happened to mention it in a comment talking about England’s Women Soccer Team who beat Germany in the finals of the Women’s Euro 2022 and will be going to the World’s Cup next year, or so says Roger, and “Sweet Caroline” is the “unofficial Team & Supporters Song.”  And so, with that in mind, of course I must play this one tonight!


Neil Diamond wrote this song about his wife … Marcia.  Yeah, I know … Caroline is not exactly the same as Marcia, but Neil apparently already had the music written and needed a three-syllable name, so he pulled the name Caroline out of his … er … hat, and thus was the song named.  Neil and Marcia divorced in 1995 … gee, I wonder why.

Now, according to SongFacts …

Neil Diamond is a great manipulator of the media, and has shifted his story about this song to fit the occasion. There was longtime speculation that the song is about Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the American president John F. Kennedy. Diamond has since revealed that this Caroline gave him the idea for the name, but had nothing to do with the song’s inspiration.

In 2007, however, Diamond performed the song via satellite at Caroline Kennedy’s 50th birthday party, and said that the song was about her. He told the Associated Press: “I’ve never discussed it with anybody before – intentionally. I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday. I’m happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy.”

Diamond added that he was a young, broke songwriter in the ’60s when he saw a cute photo of Caroline Kennedy in a magazine. Said Diamond: “It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony. It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there.” A few years later, Diamond wrote the song in a Memphis hotel in less than an hour. Caroline was 11 years old when the song was released.

Another interesting tidbit is that even though the song has nothing to do with Boston, the Red Sox, baseball or New England, it is played at Red Sox home games in Fenway Park before the Red Sox bat in the the 8th inning. Amy Tobey, who worked the music at Fenway, first started playing the song in 1997 – it’s often reported that she played it in honor of a Red Sox employee who named her newborn daughter “Caroline,” but Tobey told NPR that she simply liked the song. It caught on with the fans, becoming a popular selection between innings. When Charles Steinberg took over as Red Sox executive vice president of public affairs in 2002, he championed the song, and instituted it as an 8th inning ritual (strategically placed before the Sox come up to bat late in the game), where it has been played ever since.

After the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, the New York Yankees – rivals of the Red Sox – began playing this song as a show of support for the city of Boston. On April 20, Diamond made a surprise appearance at Fenway Park where he performed the song in its traditional 8th inning timeslot. Diamond, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just two days earlier, appeared in street clothes rather than his usual lustrous performance garb as he led the crowd in a full version of the song.

This one’s for you, Miss JoyRoses …

Sweet Caroline
Neil Diamond

Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing
But then I know it’s growing strong
Was in the spring
And spring became the summer
Who’d have believed you’d come along

Hands, touching hands
Reaching out, touching me, touching you

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
But now I

Look at the night and it don’t seem so lonely
We filled it up with only two
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when holding you

One, touching one
Reaching out, touching me, touching you

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
Oh no, no

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
Sweet Caroline
I believe they never could
Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Neil Diamond
Sweet Caroline lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

50 thoughts on “♫ Sweet Caroline ♫ (Redux)

  1. Pingback: ♫ Sweet Caroline ♫ (Redux) – MobsterTiger

    • I could have fone without the popularization of Evangicalusm, but I loved the passion in “Brother Love,” the way he controls the music and the tone of the song. Definitely one of the best musical compositions of the entire Rock era.
      But what is ‘the’ tournament? Obviously I missed something in my anti-radio years…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry rawgod. British obliqueness born by excitement.
        ‘The’ tournament refers to the English WOMEN’S football team winning the 2022 Euro Championship. A display of football / soccer which put the overpaid men’s version into the shade.
        ‘Sweet Caroline’ has become something of an anthem this past year; even to the extent of singing the music break of ‘bom-bom-bommmm’

        With you all the way there with the analysis of ‘Brother Love’

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This was Neil’s first release, but it went nowhere. It wasn’t until a few years later after Solitary Man had made him a star that it was re-released and it became the hit it was them, and obviously is today.
    For myself, this was one of his weaker songs, but what do I know?
    I got to know and love him with Solitary Man. I actually first heard it on the Battle of the Bands on CKRC radio in Winnipeg. It was up against Bob Linde’s Elusive Butterfly, I loved both songs. I couldm’t choose one over the other.
    For the life of me I cannot remember which song won. They both became hits. Linde was a one-hit wonder in Canada. Neil had a few more hits, as everyone knows.

    Like

  3. Jill, great song by an underappreciated songwriter. The story reminds me of Greg Allman hearing the name Melissa in the grocery store with a mother trying to shepherd her daughter around as she shopped. He had been looking for a name for his song now called “Sweet Melissa.” Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhh … I wasn’t aware of the origins of the song “Sweet Melissa”!!! I do enjoy digging up trivia about the songs I’ve known and loved for a long time. Glad you liked this one!

      Like

  4. Always been a favourite of mine, right back to when it was first released. On the UK sports front it was first – I think – put into popular usage by being the crowd singalong song at Finals Day for our T20 cricket cup. It was led by an iconic commentator, David Lloyd, aka ‘Bumble,’ and was a highlight of the day. The England men’s football team adopted it last year for the Euros, which we lost to Italy on penalties in the final. The Lionesses are going down a well-trodden path! To be strictly accurate they haven’t quite qualified for next year’s World Cup, as they still need two points from two games to be sure. But as they have won all eight games so far in qualifying, by an aggregate of 68-0, they ought to do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs. Used to play and sing it with my sis when we made the rounds of parties. This is the first time I’ve seen the part about Caroline Kennedy though. I do totally understand the need for three syllables in then name; Just thinking about trying to sing “Sweet Ma-re-cia”. Maybe Mar-she-a? Nah! Wouldn’t have the same impact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love it when a song brings back happy memories! I think it would be Sweet Mar-cee-yah, with the accent on the ‘cee’. No, wouldn’t have the same impact, but perhaps just because we’re so used to Sweet Caroline!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, your spelling is more like it. I’ve tried singing it with Mar-cee-yah and while the tempo works it’s just not right. Some things just shouldn’t be messed with. Some day try Jonathan Livingston Seagull — or rather some of the music from that one. I used to have everything Neil Diamond put out but being on vinyl they tended to warp in our hot farmhouse.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree … I tried it, too, and it just … doesn’t sound right! Rather like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet. I will definitely check out Jonathan Livingston Seagull! Ah yes … the old vinyl were easily destructible by heat, being dropped, or the needle on the record player scooting across and scratching them. They did smell nice, though!

          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 )

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