♫ 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