Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2007 03:49am | Post a Comment
sweet caroline neil diamond
What is it about that song, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond that people like so much? Because people really do like that song. I've seen many the person (despite whatever their core musical preference might be) just let loose and howl along with those well worn lyrics: "Where it began, I can't begin to know when...touching me, touching you." 

You'll hear em sing along with "Sweet Caroline" at parties and in bars. You'll even join in. I just heard it the other day at a Thanksgiving party in the Mission with everyone cheerily chanting along. And you always hear "Sweet Caroline" in sports stadiums -- mainly the Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway stadium games (see/hear clip below). It's also plneil diamond hot august nightsayed at New York Rangers hockey games.

The song has becaroline kennedyen a part of popular music and culture since it was first released as a single in September 1969, when it went to #4 on the Top 40 charts and sold a million copies. Since then it has continued to sell (most people get it on one of the Neil Diamond hits packages) and of course Neil has continued to perform it. 

Earlier this year Diamond performed the song for Caroline Kennedy at her 50th birthday celebration. She was the inspiration for the song, he said in an interview this year.

"Sweet Caroline" has also been featured in many movies, including the 2001 film Saving Silverman with Jack Black, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zahn. The film, about fanatical Neil fans, features a cameo from Diamond himself.
Beside a million karaoke versions of "Sweet Caroline," numerous artists have also covered the song over the years, including Waylon Jennings, Dave Matthews Band, Frank Sinatra, and Bobby Darin, who did it a bit slower and Elvis Presley, who did it a bit faster (see his performance below).
But what is it about "Sweet Caroline" that people like so much? That's not a rhetorical question. Is it that melody or is it those lyrics?


Where it began, I can't begin to know when
 But then I know it's growing strong
 Oh, wasn't the spring, whooo
 And spring became the summer
 Who'd believe you'd come along

 Hands, touching hands, reaching out
 Touching me, touching you
 Oh, sweet Caroline
 Good times never seem so good
 I've been inclined to believe it never would

 And now I, I look at the night, whooo
 And it don't seem so lonely
 We fill it up with only two, oh
 And when I hurt
 Hurting runs off my shoulder
 How can I hurt when holding you

 Oh, one, touching one, reaching out
 Touching me, touching you
 Oh, sweet Caroline
 Good times never seem so good
 Oh I've been inclined to believe it never would

 Ohhh, sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good

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Neil Diamond (5), Sweet Caroline (1)