Holly Holy

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

4:27 (single version)

4:40 (album version)
Label Uni
Songwriter(s) Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"Sweet Caroline"
"Holly Holy"

"Sweet Caroline"
"Holly Holy"

"Holly Holy" is a song written and recorded by Neil Diamond with instrumental backing provided by L.A. session[1] musicians from The Wrecking Crew. Released as a single on October 13, 1969,[2] it was a successful follow-on to "Sweet Caroline", reaching #6 on the U.S. pop singles chart by December.[3][4] The song also reached #5 on the Easy Listening chart.[5] It became a gold record and then eventually a platinum record.[2]

A work with a spiritual focus,[6] "Holly Holy" was influenced by gospel music[2] and was Diamond's favorite of the songs he had written to that point.[4] It begins quietly with acoustic guitar against a bass line, with the sparse lyric stretched with elongated vowels. Gradually the arrangement builds 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.[2] 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.

Other versions[edit]


The song draws upon gospel music for inspiration, and is particularly noted for its inspiring gospel style lyrics.[10]

Call the sun in the dead of the night
And 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


  1. ^ Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. St. Martin’s Griffin. pp. 261–263. ISBN 978-1-250-03046-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e William Ruhlmann. "Neil Diamond: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1983). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: 1955 to present. Billboard Publications. ISBN 0-8230-7511-7.  p. 88.
  4. ^ a b Jackson, Laura (2005). Neil Diamond: His Life, His Music, His Passion. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-707-6.  pp. 65–66.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 72. 
  6. ^ Neil McCormick (2008-03-05). "Neil Diamond: the hurt, the dirt, the shirts". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  7. ^ AllMusic. "Fabulous Flames". AllMusic. AllMusic. Retrieved 29 July 2018. 
  8. ^ "Holy Smoke (1999) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  9. ^ "The Astronaut Wives Club Music - S1E10: "Landing"". TuneFind.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  10. ^ "Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive Holly Holy » Lefsetz Letter". Lefsetz.com. 2005-08-26. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 

External links[edit]