|Single by Neil Diamond|
|Released||September 16, 1969|
|Neil Diamond singles chronology|
"Sweet Caroline" is a song written and performed by American recording artist Neil Diamond and officially released on September 16, 1969, as a single with the title "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)". It was arranged by Charles Calello, and recorded at American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
In the autumn of 1969, Diamond performed "Sweet Caroline" on several television shows. It later reached #8 on the UK singles chart in 1971.
In a 2007 interview, Diamond stated the inspiration for his song was John F. Kennedy's daughter, Caroline, who was eleven years old at the time it was released. Diamond sang the song to her at her 50th birthday celebration in 2007. On December 21, 2011, in an interview on CBS's The Early Show, Diamond said that a magazine cover photo of Caroline Kennedy as a young child on a horse with her parents in the background created an image in his mind, and the rest of the song came together about five years after seeing the picture. However, in 2014 Diamond said the song was about his then-wife Marsha, but he needed a three-syllable name to fit the melody.
There are three distinct mixes of this song. The original mono 45 mix had a louder orchestra and glockenspiel compared to the stereo version on the Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show LP. The third version was a remix found only on the initial CD release of Diamond's His 12 Greatest Hits. This version has the orchestra mixed down and has the background vocals mixed up. It has a longer fade as well. A live version of the song is on his Hot August Night LP.
The playing of "Sweet Caroline" has become a fixture at many sporting events in the United States. In this version, the horn figure after Diamond sings "Sweet Caroline" in the chorus is replaced by the crowd singing "Oh, oh, oh", and after he sings "Good times never seemed so good," the crowd sings "So good, so good, so good." This pattern is repeated whenever the chorus is played.
The song has been played at Fenway Park, home of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, since at least 1997, and in the middle of the eighth inning at every game since 2002. On opening night of the 2010 season at Fenway Park, the song was performed by Diamond himself. "Sweet Caroline" was played at Penn State Nittany Lions football games at Beaver Stadium until August 2012, halting after the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Performances at Beaver Stadium resumed in September 2013, however. The song is played at the start of the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh Panthers Football games at Heinz Field. The main chorus is changed to "LET'S GO PITT" and "GO PITT, GO PITT, GO PITT" respectively.
On April 16, 2013, the day after the Boston Marathon bombing, the New York Yankees—longtime Red Sox rivals—announced they would play the song during their home game, preceded by a moment of silence, as a tribute to the victims. On Saturday, April 20, 2013, during the 8th inning of the Red Sox-Kansas City game in Fenway Park, Neil Diamond led the crowd in a rendition of the song. The song was sung at sporting events across the country after the Boston Marathon bombings, in efforts to show solidarity with those affected by the tragedy. It was also played right before the start of the Hamburg Marathon in Hamburg, Germany, on Sunday, April 21, 2013, subsequent to a minute of silence. The song was also played before the start of the Stockholm Marathon in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday, June 1, 2013, as a tribute to those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.
On April 25, 2013, "Sweet Caroline" was played following a tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing during the NFL Draft. Diamond has announced that he will donate all royalties from sales of the song since the marathon bombings to the One Fund Boston charity to help the people most affected by the bombings. Diamond said that sales of the song surged nearly 600 percent in the week after the bombings, to 19,000 copies, up from 2,800 the week before.
- Bert Kaempfert released an instrumental version in 1969
- Pierre Lalonde in 1969 made a French cover of this song as "Caroline".
- Andy Williams released a version in 1969 on his album, Get Together with Andy Williams.
- Elvis Presley covered it in 1970.
- Checkmates, Ltd. released a version of the song on their 1971 album, Life.
- Bobby Womack covered this song in his 1972 album Understanding.
- Roy Orbison covered it in 1973 from Live on Australian television in 1973.
- Frank Sinatra recorded a big band cover of "Sweet Caroline" for his 1974 LP Some Nice Things I've Missed. Neil Diamond has stated this is one of his favorite covers.
- Julio Iglesias covered this song in Spanish as "Dulce Carolina" on his 1972 album Por una mujer.
- Waylon Jennings performed a version on his 1977 album Ol' Waylon.
- Claude Gray in 1986 released a cover version. It peaked at #77 on the Billboard country charts, making it his last charted single to date.
- The third full-length release from the punk band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, entitled "Have a Ball", released July 29, 1997, features a punk-rock cover of "Sweet Caroline".
- In November 2001, Dustin the Turkey took the song to number one on the Irish Singles Chart.
- David Archuleta performed the song during the Final Five American Idol Episode on April 29, 2008 and later recorded a studio version.
- On July 7-8th 2006, the Dave Matthews Band performed a cover of the song at their 2-day concert at Fenway Park, which was released as their album "Live Trax Vol. 6: Fenway Park".
- In 2009, Mark Salling covered the song on the Fox TV show Glee.
- In 2009, South African singer Steve Hofmeyr covered the song on his album, Tribute.
- In 2009, the Boston Pops Orchestra and Keith Lockhart recorded it on their live album The Red Sox Album. Also, on July 4, 2009, Neil Diamond performed it with them on the Hatch Shell stage.
- DJ Ötzi, an Austrian entertainer and singer released it in 2009 finding great success in German-speaking charts peaking at number 19 on the German Singles Chart and number 18 on the Austrian charts.
- Bertín Osborne covered the song in 2016.
- Chilton, Martin. "Neil Diamond: 'didn't like Sweet Caroline'". Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- Caulfield, Keith. "Neil Diamond's Top Singles'". Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- Calello, Charles. "Calello's Billboard Magazine Top 100". Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- "Neil Diamond" (biography). Billboard. Retrieved November 20, 2007.
- Glaister, Dan (November 21, 2007). "Neil Diamond reveals secret of Sweet Caroline". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Beggy, Carol; Shanahan, Mark (November 21, 2007). "'Sweet Caroline' revealed". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
- Cohen, Sandy (November 20, 2007). "Neil Diamond reveals inspiration for his smash hit 'Sweet Caroline': Caroline Kennedy". Associated Press.
- Respers, Lisa (2014-10-20). "Neil Diamond reveals story behind 'Sweet Caroline'". CNN.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- France, Lisa Respers (October 20, 2014). "Neil Diamond reveals story behind 'Sweet Caroline'". CNN. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- Appel, Rich (November 26, 2014). "Revisionist History, Part 5: Bon Jovi's 'Prayer' Answered, 'Caroline' Is Sweeter Than 'Sugar'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- "Neil Diamond Album Overview Part 4: 1981-2003 The Compilation-Mania Years". Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Browne, Ian (April 17, 2013). "Fenway Park's anthem started innocuously". MLB.com. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
- Vosk, Stephanie (May 29, 2005). "Another mystery of the Diamond, explained at last". The Boston Globe.
- Clark, Lauren (2012-08-27). "Penn State Kills 'Sweet Caroline'". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- "No 'Sweet Caroline' at Penn State games, no public allowed in most athletic facilities – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs". News.blogs.cnn.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- Horne, Kevin (2013-09-23). "Sweet Caroline Returns to Beaver Stadium". Onward State. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
- "Yankees Twitter". New York Yankees. April 16, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "15,000 expected at Hamburg Marathon". TheLocal. April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- "Neil Diamond to Donate 'Sweet Caroline' Royalties to Boston Bombing Charity". The New York Times. April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Neil Diamond to Donate 'Sweet Caroline' Royalties to Boston Charity". The Hollywood Reporter. April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Elvis Presley - Sweet Caroline (1970)". YouTube. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- Checkmates, Ltd., Life Retrieved January 29, 2016.
- "Roy Orbison: "Sweet Caroline" from Live in Australia".
- "Singer/songwriter Neil Diamond here, AMA!". Reddit. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "DMB Live Trax Vol. 6: Fenway Park". Dave Matthews Band. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
- "Tribute". Last.fm. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- Austriancharts.at: DJ ÖTZI - "Sweet Caroline"