“I’ve never discussed it with anybody before — intentionally,” the 66-year-old singer-songwriter told The Associated Press on Monday during a break from recording.
“I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday.”He got his chance last week when he performed the song via satellite at Caroline Kennedy’s 50th birthday party.
Diamond was a “young, broke songwriter” when a photo of the president’s daughter in a news magazine caught his eye.”It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony,” Diamond recalled. “It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there.”Years later, holed up in a hotel in Memphis, Tenn., he would write the words and music in less an hour.
“It was a No. 1 record and probably is the biggest, most important song of my career, and I have to thank her for the inspiration,” he said. “I’m happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy.”
The enduring hit recently reappeared on the singles chart, thanks in part to the Boston Red Sox. “Sweet Caroline” is played at every home game.
“I think they consider it good luck,” Diamond said, adding that the Red Sox have become his favorite baseball team.
The tune’s return to the charts leaves Diamond “speechless,” he said. “That song was written 40 years ago, so I am just overwhelmed by the fact that it has returned and that, more importantly, people have taken it into their hearts for so many years.”
Diamond is now at work on a new album, his second collaboration with producer Rick Rubin.
“We’re both very excited about it,” Diamond said. “I think it’s going to be one of my best ever.”
Our friend Gus would like to think this is more likely…
This whole time I thought it was about Caroline in the City. Now that was a tour de force sitcom!
I just got a call from Caroline Rhea saying that Neil Diamond fingerblasted her in a bar bathroom right around the time this song was released. So I’m declaring shenanigans on this one.
this country will forever be a kennedy-nation. Go Sawx!
and Ace, “fingerblasted”????
if Pee-wee was still on the air, Cowboy Curtis would surely make “fingerblasted” his “Word of the day”…
kudos. your college english professor would be proud.
Thanks for the sweet Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach link.
You’re welcome, ZF…that’s what I’m here for. That, and to use words like fingerblasted.