Ah, Sweet Caroline—the classic Neil Diamond song that has transcended time and become an anthem for Boston Red Sox baseball games and beyond. From Fenway Park to spring training, the classic melody is a staple for fans everywhere. But why is Sweet Caroline played at Red Sox games? What is the story behind the beloved tune? In this article, we’ll explore the history and mystery behind this classic baseball anthem.
Overview of Sweet Caroline
Sweet Caroline is a 1969 song by Neil Diamond from his album Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show. It features mellow guitars, a catchy chorus, and a hint of nostalgia. The song was a big hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a big hit in the UK, peaking at #6 on the UK Singles Chart.
The Story Behind Sweet Caroline
The song was written by Neil Diamond for his then-wife, Marsha. It was first performed in public at a concert in Los Angeles in 1969. The song quickly became a hit, but the real story behind the song remains a mystery. Some say it was written for Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, while other theories suggest it was written for a character in a movie or even a waitress at a diner. Whatever the case may be, the mystery behind the song only adds to its charm.
Sweet Caroline and the Red Sox
The Red Sox have been playing Sweet Caroline since 2002, when they were looking for a new song to play during the 7th inning stretch. Red Sox organist Josh Kantor, who has been playing the song since then, says the song was chosen because it is “uplifting, singable and had an undeniable connection to the team’s legendary left fielder, Ted Williams”. Williams, who was known as the “Splendid Splinter”, was a beloved figure in Red Sox history, and the song has become a tribute to him.
Sweet Caroline at Fenway Park
The Red Sox began playing Sweet Caroline at Fenway Park in 2002, and it quickly became a fan favorite. The song is played during the 7th inning stretch of every game, and fans can be seen singing along and swaying to the music. The song has become so popular that it has been adopted by other sports teams, such as the Boston Bruins and New England Patriots.
The Lyrics of Sweet Caroline
The lyrics of Sweet Caroline are simple and nostalgic, making it easy to sing along to. The chorus goes:
- Sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good
- I’ve been inclined, to believe they never would
- Oh, Sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good
The song also includes the lines “Where it began, I can’t begin to know when” and “So good, so good, so good”, which evoke an air of nostalgia.
The Legacy of Sweet Caroline
Since its adoption by the Red Sox, Sweet Caroline has become a cultural phenomenon. The song has been used in movies, television shows, and commercials. It has been covered by artists such as Billy Joel, The Beach Boys, and The Spin Doctors. The song has also become a popular sing-along at karaoke bars and weddings.
The Impact of Sweet Caroline
Sweet Caroline has had a lasting impact on Red Sox fans and beyond. The song has become a symbol of hope and unity, bringing fans together to sing and celebrate. It is a reminder of the power of music to bring people together, no matter their differences.
Sweet Caroline is more than just a song—it is a symbol of hope and unity for Red Sox fans and beyond. The song has transcended time and become an anthem for baseball fans everywhere. So why is Sweet Caroline played at Red Sox games? The answer lies in its simple and nostalgic lyrics, its connection to beloved Red Sox legend Ted Williams, and the power of music to bring people together.
- Diamond, N. (1969). Sweet Caroline. On Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show. [Album] Bang Records.
- Giglio, J. (2015, April 20). Why Is Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” Played at Every Red Sox Game? Retrieved from bostonmagazine.com/news/2015/04/20/why-is-neil-diamonds-sweet-caroline-played-at-every-red-sox-game/
- The History of “Sweet Caroline”. (2020, April 1). Retrieved from masslive.com/redsox/2020/04/the-history-of-sweet-caroline-and-its-connection-to-the-boston-red-sox.html