Sweet Caroline

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"Sweet Caroline"
Sweet Caroline cover.jpg
Single by Neil Diamond
B-side"Dig In"
ReleasedJune 1969
GenreSoft rock
Length3:21
LabelUni/MCA
Songwriter(s)Neil Diamond
Producer(s)
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show"
(1969)
"Sweet Caroline"
(1969)
"Holly Holy"
(1969)

"Sweet Caroline" is a song written and performed by American recording artist Neil Diamond and released in June 1969 as a single with the title "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)". It was arranged by Charles Calello,[1] and recorded at American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

The song reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week ending August 16, 1969,[2] and was certified gold by the RIAA on August 18, 1969, for sales of one million singles.[3] "Sweet Caroline" was also the first of fifty-eight entries on the US Easy Listening chart, peaking at #3.[4]

In the autumn of 1969, Diamond performed "Sweet Caroline" on several television shows. It later reached No. 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.[5][6] Diamond sang the song to her at her 50th birthday celebration in 2007.[7] 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[8] with her parents created an image in his mind, and the rest of the song came together about five years after seeing the picture.[9] However, in 2014 Diamond said the song was about his then-wife Marcia, but he needed a three-syllable name to fit the melody.[9] The song has proven to be enduringly popular and, as of November 2014, has sold over two million digital downloads in the United States.[10] In 2019, "Sweet Caroline" was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[11]

Chart history[edit]

Alternate mixes[edit]

There are three distinct mixes of this song. In the original mono 45 mix, the orchestra and glockenspiel are more prominent than in 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.[25] 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.

Use at sporting events[edit]

United States[edit]

The song has been played at Fenway Park, home of Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, since at least 1997,[26] and in the middle of the eighth inning at every game since 2002.[27] On opening night of the 2010 season at Fenway Park, the song was performed live by Diamond himself.[28] It is also an unofficial song of the National Football League's Carolina Panthers (played following a home victory) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, being played at athletic events and pep rallies.[citation needed] "Sweet Caroline" was played at Penn State Nittany Lions football games at Beaver Stadium until August 2012, when it was supposedly halted due to the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.[29][30] Performances at Beaver Stadium resumed in September 2013, however.[31] The song is played at the start of the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh Panthers Football games at Heinz Field.[citation needed] The Iowa State Cyclones have used "Sweet Caroline" as a football victory song since 2006.[32]

Boston Marathon[edit]

Several days after the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, Neil Diamond led the crowd at Fenway Park in a rendition of the song.[33] The song was sung at sporting events across the country after the bombing, in efforts to show solidarity with those affected by the tragedy.[citation needed]

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.[34] Diamond said that he would donate his royalties from those sales to the One Fund Boston charity to help the people affected by the bombings.[35]

United Kingdom[edit]

The song is popular in Britain and has also been adopted by Reading F.C., Arsenal, AFC Bournemouth, Saracens F.C., Oxford United,[36] Bradford City and Aston Villa.

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Calello, Charles. "Calello's Billboard Magazine Top 100". Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  2. ^ Billboard, Hot 100, August 16, 1969
  3. ^ "Gold & Platinum". www.riaa.com. RIAA. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 78.
  5. ^ Glaister, Dan (November 21, 2007). "Neil Diamond reveals secret of Sweet Caroline". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  6. ^ Beggy, Carol; Shanahan, Mark (November 21, 2007). "'Sweet Caroline' revealed". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  7. ^ Cohen, Sandy (November 20, 2007). "Diamond Reveals `Caroline' Inspiration". Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  8. ^ http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2007/11/photo_hulton_archivegetty_imag.html
  9. ^ a b Respers, Lisa (October 20, 2014). "Neil Diamond reveals story behind 'Sweet Caroline'". CNN. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Andrews, Travis M. (March 20, 2019). "Jay-Z, a speech by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and 'Schoolhouse Rock!' among recordings deemed classics by Library of Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  14. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "Neil Diamond Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Neil Diamond Chart History (Easy Listening)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  17. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/30/69". tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  18. ^ "Musicline.de – Neil Diamond Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  19. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Sweet Caroline". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  21. ^ "Neil Diamond: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  22. ^ "RPM Top Singles of 1969". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved December 24, 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  23. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". www.musicoutfitters.com.
  24. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1969". tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  25. ^ "Neil Diamond Album Overview Part 4: 1981-2003 The Compilation-Mania Years". Archived from the original on October 30, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  26. ^ Browne, Ian (April 17, 2013). "Fenway Park's anthem started innocuously". MLB.com. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  27. ^ Vosk, Stephanie (May 29, 2005). "Another mystery of the Diamond, explained at last". The Boston Globe.
  28. ^ Hirschfield, Adam (April 4, 2010). "Neil Diamond Sings 'Sweet Caroline' Live at Fenway Park". NESN. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  29. ^ Clark, Lauren (August 27, 2012). "Penn State Kills 'Sweet Caroline'". Boston Magazine. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  30. ^ "No 'Sweet Caroline' at Penn State games, no public allowed in most athletic facilities – This Just In". CNN.com Blogs. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  31. ^ Horne, Kevin (September 23, 2013). "Sweet Caroline Returns to Beaver Stadium". Onward State. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  32. ^ Leimkuehler, Matthew. "How Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline' became Iowa State's inescapable celebration song". Des Moines Register.
  33. ^ Perry, Dayn (April 20, 2013). "Neil Diamond sang at Fenway . . . uninvited". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  34. ^ "Neil Diamond to Donate 'Sweet Caroline' Royalties to Boston Charity". The Hollywood Reporter. April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  35. ^ "Neil Diamond to Donate 'Sweet Caroline' Royalties to Boston Bombing Charity". The New York Times. April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  36. ^ "A Song for Wembley". Oxford United.
  37. ^ Austriancharts.at: DJ ÖTZI - "Sweet Caroline"

External links[edit]