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"Sweet Caroline"
Single by Neil Diamond
from the album Sweet Caroline
Released September 16th, 1969
Genre Pop
Length 3:21
Label UNI/MCA
Writer(s) Neil Diamond
Producer Tommy Cogbill
Neil Diamond
Chips Moman
Neil Diamond singles chronology
"Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show"
(1969)
"Sweet Caroline"
(1969)
"Holly Holy"
(1969)

"Sweet Caroline" is a pop song written and performed by Neil Diamond and officially released on September 16, 1969, as a single. There are three distinct mixes of this song. The original mono 45 mix had a loud 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 Neil Diamond's "His 12 Greatest Hits". This version has the orchestra mixed down very noticeably and has the background vocals mixed up. It has a longer fade as well. The song reached #4 on the Billboard chart and eventually went platinum for sales of one million singles.[1]

In the fall 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 revealed the inspiration for "Sweet Caroline" was President John F. Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, who was eleven years old at the time.[2][3] Diamond sang the song to her at her 50th birthday celebration in 2007.[4]

Contents

At sporting events

"Sweet Caroline" is popular at sporting events. Sherrie Levy, Neil Diamond's press agent, remarked, "I'm not sure how it happened, but we're very pleased that it happened". The song has been a tradition at Boston's Fenway Park since 1997, and since 2002 it has been played at every game in the middle of the eighth inning.

It has since become tradition at many other sporting events for professional and college teams.

The song began being used as a victory song for the New York Rangers during the 2005-2006 season when head coach Tom Renney would play it in the locker room following victories. Shortly thereafter, the song began being played at Madison Square Garden by the PA System at the end of games that the Rangers were winning. However, during that season there were a few times in which the song was played prior to the end of the game with the Rangers in the lead. Some of those even resulted in the Rangers eventually losing the game. Shortly after that, the song began only being played if a game was out of reach for the opponent or after the game.

Many fans substitute ""Ba, Ba, Ba," by insulting teams they hate and chanting their team name in place of "So Good! So Good! So Good!"

In December of 2007, the song was heard as Detroit Tigers' manager Jim Leyland's cell phone ringtone in a press conference.

The song is usually sung by supporters of English football team Arsenal and Northern Ireland fans where it is heard at Windsor Park before the match, at half time and after the final whistle is blown.

"Sweet Caroline" is the official club song at Brunton Park, home of Carlisle United FC of Football League One, where it is played as the players make their entrance; it is a fan favourite in Cumbria and was chosen by fan vote. In the past two seasons it has also been often used at Hereford United away matches, which is always started by a group of fans known as the 'Fun Bus'.

In the 2005/2006 English Football season "Sweet Caroline" was adopted by the players of Reading Football Club. For many fans of Reading FC it evokes memories of the record breaking season of 05/06 when Reading scored 106 points to walk away with the Coca Cola Championship title.

At the annual Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, which draws large numbers of tourists to the city, "Sweet Caroline" is amongst the few songs which are hailed as anthems of the major sporting event/festival. The entire stadium tends to burst into simultaneous song during the chorus when the song is played during breaks between games.

In Australia, the song is recited at St. John's College, University of Sydney after sporting events and at formal dinners where the residents wear academic attire.

Teams that play it

Covers

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  • In his February 1970 shows at the International, Elvis Presley first sang "Sweet Caroline". It was so popular, the song remained in his set list for many years. On the first released version from the On Stage album Presley introduced it, saying "A guy had a song out last year. It's a beautiful song and the guys name is Neil Diamond. I'd like to sing it for you now." Another live version from August 1970 was released in the movie Elvis - That's The Way It Is.
  • In 1970, Anthony Armstrong Jones took the song into the Top 40 of the country charts. In 1972, Bobby Womack took it into the Top 20 of the R&B charts {#16). A number of other artists have recorded covers, including Andy Williams, Bobby Goldsboro, Elvis Presley, the Ventures, Ray Conniff, Boots Randolph, Frank Sinatra, Guster, and Waylon Jennings.
  • In the 1996 film Beautiful Girls, Timothy Hutton leads a sing-along performance of the song in a Massachusetts bar.
  • In Ireland, in December 2001, a dance version by Dustin the Turkey reached number one in the singles charts, his last number-one hit to date. It was also covered by the punk music band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes on their album Have a Ball. "Sweet Caroline" has also been covered by Reggae group Bunny Rugs & The Upsetters in 1974 on their album To Love Somebody.
  • In September 2004, Jimmy Buffett included "Sweet Caroline" in a medley with "Why Don't We Get Drunk" during both of his Fenway Park shows (September 10/12, 2004) stating, "Never again will those songs be played together in one medley at Fenway Park."
  • Dave Matthews Band followed suit and performed "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway Park on July 8, 2006 and again on March 24, 2007, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • During U2's PopMart Tour, U2's guitarist The Edge performed several karaoke versions of "Sweet Caroline".
  • The song was covered by The Railbenders, a Denver-based hard-country band on their 2003 release Segundo.
  • Angelo Venuto recorded a techno version of the song.
  • Bobby Darin performed the song live, but at a slower, more dramatic tempo. This cover is available on the HYENA DVD Bobby Darin- Seeing Is Believing.
  • Jonathan Coulton often performs the song with Paul and Storm as part of his encore.
  • According to the album literature of 1996's In My Lifetime, Diamond came up with the famous A6 chord (used in the "...hands, touching hands" portion of the song) in the song in a hotel room one night.
  • Sweet Caroline is regularly sung by Anthony Cumia (Opie and Anthony) during Pest gatherings.
  • On season 7 of American Idol, runner-up David Archuleta performed this song the night Neil Diamond mentored the contestants.
  • Joe Dolan recorded a cover shortly before his death.
  • It is said that the Jonas Brothers will cover the song on their 2009 World Tour.

In entertainment

  • The song served as the opening theme for Caroline Rhea's short-lived 2002 talk show. The audience often sang along with the song as well.
  • The song was often played in tribute to the offshore radio station Radio Caroline in documentaries about the radio station, such as 'The Story of Radio Caroline' by former Radio Caroline DJ Ted Payne.
  • The song appears in the game Karaoke Revolution Party.
  • The "so good, so good, so good, so good" wrinkle was first observed being played during the 1970s on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, by the duo Paul Presto & Jackie Vee at the Surf City Hotel. And it went on -- and on -- from there.
  • Sweet Caroline is now a Neil Diamond fan community.
  • The song is featured in a montage of Fenway Park in Fever Pitch (2005 movie) (starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore).
  • Greg Campbell also recorded a cover version of the song in 1999 and this song was on the NRG XS 2 CD , the cover was a high energy version of the original Neil Diamond hit
  • The song is also on the soundtrack to the popular Disney movie Cars.

References

  1. ""Neil Diamond: Biography"". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/bio/index.jsp?pid=4456&aid=5629. Retrieved on 2007-11-20. 
  2. Dan Glaister (2007). "Neil Diamond reveals secret of Sweet Caroline". The Guardian Unlimited. http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2214419,00.html. Retrieved on November 21 2007. 
  3. Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan (2007). "'Sweet Caroline' revealed". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2007/11/21/sweet_caroline_revealed/. Retrieved on March 15 2008. 
  4. Cohen, Sandy (20 November 2007). "'Sweet Caroline' was Caroline Kennedy". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/71445. Retrieved on 2007-11-20. 








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