The Sunday Guardian
Diamond’s mystery muse was JFK’s daughter Caroline
Song: Sweet Caroline Artist: Neil Diamond Label: Saregama Producer: S.D Burman A picture of an innocent little girl inspired American singer-songwriter Neil Diamond to pen one of the biggest songs of his career. But the woman in the picture remained a mystery for 40 long years, until Diamond revealed in 2007 that Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was the inspiration behind this song. It took Diamond less than an hour to pen the lyrics of this chart topping number a few years after he found a picture of Caroline, aged nine, posing next to a pony in her riding gear in a magazine.
Diamond is said to have performed the song for his muse on her 50th birthday. She was smitten by the song, contrary to Diamond’s belief that she would be discomfited by its romantic words. Sweet Caroline took Diamond’s abating career to new heights, selling more than 2 million copies. It also became a sing-along rage at sporting events for Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox baseball team and the New York Rangers. It was first played at the games in the honour of a Red Sox employee who named her daughter Caroline in 1998.
Ranked as the most profitable solo performer of 1986 by Billboard magazine, Diamond’s Sweet Caroline is one of the most famous karaoke numbers in America. Though it has been ‘covered’ by artists like Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings and The Drifters; Frank Sinatra’s version is Diamond’s personal favourite. He said in an interview, “He did it his way. He didn’t cop my record at all. I’ve heard that song by a lot of people and there are a lot of good versions. But Sinatra’s swinging, big band version tops them all by far.” — Shweta Sharma