Holly Holy

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"Holly Holy"
Single by Neil Diamond
B-side "Hurtin' You Don't Come Easy"
Released October 13, 1969
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre Pop, rock
Length

4:27(single version)

4:40(album version
Label Uni
Writer(s) Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"Sweet Caroline"
(1969)
"Holly Holy"
(1969)
"Shilo"
(1970)

"Holly Holy" is a song written and recorded by Neil Diamond. Released as a single on October 13, 1969,[1] it was quite successful as the follow-on to "Sweet Caroline", reaching number 6 on the U.S. pop singles chart by December.[2][3] It became a gold record and then eventually platinum.[1]

A work with a spiritual focus,[4] "Holly Holy" was influenced by gospel music[1] and was Diamond's favorite of the songs he had written to that point.[3] It begins quietly with acoustic guitar against a bass line, with the sparse lyric stretched with elongated vowels. Gradually the arrangement builds up with a tempo shift in the bridge and a backing choir against strings lasting throughout.

"Holly Holy" was later included on Diamond's November 1969 album Touching You, Touching Me.[1] It has been included in live versions on Diamond's Hot August Night (from 1972) and Greatest Hits: 1966–1992 (from 1992), as well as in various compilations.

A treatment of "Holly Holy" by Jr. Walker & the All Stars was a modest R&B hit in 1971.[1]

Nancy Sinatra covered the song for her second TV special, "Movin' with Nancy on Stage" in 1971.

"Holly Holy" was covered in 1998 by UB40.

"Holly Holy" was a key soundtrack song in Holy Smoke![5]

In Here Comes the Boom, it is sung by Charice.

Lyrics[edit]

As mentioned above, the song draws upon gospel music for inspiration, and is particularly noted for its inspiring gospel style lyrics (see below)[6]

Call the sun in the dead of the night
Oh the sun's gonna rise in the sky
Touch a man who can’t walk upright
And that lame man, he’s gonna fly
And I fly
And I fly

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e William Ruhlmann. "Neil Diamond: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1983). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: 1955 to present. Billboard Publications. ISBN 0-8230-7511-7.  p. 88.
  3. ^ a b Jackson, Laura (2005). Neil Diamond: His Life, His Music, His Passion. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-707-6.  pp. 65–66.
  4. ^ Neil McCormick (2008-03-05). "Neil Diamond: the hurt, the dirt, the shirts". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  5. ^ "Holy Smoke (1999) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  6. ^ "Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive Holly Holy » Lefsetz Letter". Lefsetz.com. 2005-08-26. Retrieved 2014-07-28.