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Holly Holy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Holly Holy"
Single by Neil Diamond
from the album Touching You, Touching Me
B-side"Hurtin' You Don't Come Easy"
ReleasedOctober 13, 1969
GenrePop, soft rock
Length4:27 (single version)
4:40 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Neil Diamond
Producer(s)Tom Catalano, Tommy Cogbill
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"Sweet Caroline"
"Holly Holy"

"Holly Holy" is a song written and recorded by Neil Diamond with instrumental backing provided by the American Sound Studio house band in Memphis. Released as a single on October 13, 1969,[1] it was a successful follow up to "Sweet Caroline", reaching #6 on the U.S. pop singles chart by December.[2][3] The song also reached #5 on the Easy Listening chart.[4] It became a gold record and then eventually a platinum record.[1]

While it's a love song, it also has a spiritual focus.[5] Its storyline and style were influenced by gospel music.[1] The first lyrics are sung by Diamond alone. But in the second verse, a gospel choir is accompanying him as the song builds in intensity. Later lyrics echo a Bible story: "Touch a man who can't walk upright and that lame man, he's gonna fly."[6]

Record World predicted the song "will be as famous as its author and constant hitmaker."[7] It was Diamond's favorite of the songs he had written to that point.[3]

"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 various compilations.

Chart history


Other versions


Produced by Clancy Eccles in 1970, the song was an instant success for Jamaican reggae group the Fabulous Flames, almost crossing into the UK's popular music chart.[17]

The song was covered by Nancy Sinatra and released on her album Shifting Gears in 2013.[18]


The song plays during opening credits of the 1999 Kate WinsletHarvey Keitel film Holy Smoke!. Additionally, it was played live in concert at the end of the 2001 film Saving Silverman during the end credits scene by Neil Diamond (as himself) and the main cast members (in character). It was also featured in the 2012 Kevin James film Here Comes the Boom as James's character's entrance song in mixed martial arts (MMA). The song was also featured in the 2017 TV series Mr. Mercedes Season 3, episode 4. The song was used in Mike Flanagan's 2021 Netflix miniseries Midnight Mass during a montage in the third episode.


  1. ^ a b c d 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. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 72.
  5. ^ Neil McCormick (2008-03-05). "Neil Diamond: the hurt, the dirt, the shirts". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  6. ^ YouTube.com "Neil Diamond - Holly Holy (w/lyrics)" Retrieved June 25, 2024.
  7. ^ "Single Picks of the Week" (PDF). Record World. October 25, 1969. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-05-04.
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1970-01-10. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1970-01-10. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  10. ^ "Flavour of New Zealand, 9 January 1970". Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  11. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  12. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  13. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, January 3, 1970
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  15. ^ Australian-charts.com
  16. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. 17 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Fabulous Flames". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Nancy Sinatra – Shifting Gears". Discogs. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2023-01-05.