"Sweet Caroline" brings sweet relief
Neil Diamond donates all proceeds to bombing victims
"Sweet Caroline" has been in the news of late when the Neil Diamond classic was taken up as a song of victorious resilience against the carnage in Boston. The city had a long relationship with the song, and Diamond cemented it when he flew in to sing it specially at a Boston Red Sox game, where it has been a virtual anthem for the team for more than a decade. Other teams around the league played the song this week as well in tribute to the people of Boston.
In the wake of any tragedy connected with a song, the song sales inevitably soar. "Sweet Caroline" was no exception; the AP reported earlier today that according to Nielsen Soundscan, sales of the song had jumped nearly 600%, with 19,000 downloads this past week.
What's not inevitable is what happened next. The moment Diamond learned of the sales he immediately took to his Twitter feed @NeilDiamond and donated every penny of the royalties to the One Fund, the new charity set up by Massachusetts officials to help victims of the tragedy. It got $20 million in donations in the first week alone; Diamond's contribution will add to that. And it's another small yet huge gesture in getting life back to normal.
I took the Nevada Poster Boy for the Muscular Dystrophy Association to meet Neil before they filmed "America" for "The Jazz Singer." Bobby was a HUGE N.D. fan (as am I -- one of the reasons we bonded at the MDA summer camp) and he drew a picture of Neil. When Bobby gave the portrait to Neil, it was obvious the superstar was choked up. He then literally gave Bobby the jacket off his back -- from the Neil Diamond Road Racing team.
Bobby treasured the jacket and was eventually buried in it.
The song was originally wrote for Caroline Kennedy years ago.
So appropriate since her family has ties in Massachusetts.
Way to go Neil! I am sure the Kennedy family is proud too...
Very sweet of Mr. Diamond...Flying into Boston...Love singing sweet Caroline at Fenway.
Very Classy Neil!
It's an American anthem now. Way to go, Neil. What a generous man. It was announced at Fenway this week that he flew from California at his own expense so he could be there. It was one of the most moving signs of hope and strength all week. He sang that in Boston a couple of weeks after 9/11 at a concert I attended (warily as I was afraid to be in a crowd) and it felt so good even then...he did eight encores of it as we were brought back to the time before that awful day.
You've done more than raise the souls of a mourning city and nation, you've exemplified, by your generous actions, the essence of Boston Strong!! Sweet, oh so sweet, Caroline.
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