Diamond reveals inspiration behind Sweet Caroline

Neil Diamond held on to the secret for decades, but he has finally revealed that President John Kennedy’s daughter was the inspiration for his smash hit Sweet Caroline.

”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 Schlossberg’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, he would write the words and music in less an hour.

”It was a number one 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 favourite 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 currently 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.” — Sapa-AP

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Cycads are being ‘loved to death’ in South Africa

The plants are seen as a status symbol by wealthy local and international collectors, which drives the lucrative and well-organised illicit trade

Radical economic transformation ‘bullshit’ won’t change lives of poor

Lindiwe Sisulu and other power and prosperity seekers in the ANC had the authority to improve the lives of ‘the people’, but didn’t

Small businesses must be proactive in their tax affairs

There are numerous means by which errant taxpayers can start the new year on a clean slate

Terminally ill children suffer from neglect, say health experts

Many of these children die without any palliative support and experience unnecessary discomfort and pain, unless an overburdened NGO steps in.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×