Neil Diamond made a rare public appearance and performance, breaking out to sing his 1969 hit “Sweet Caroline” during a recent Boston Red Sox home game at Fenway Park on June 18. Sporting a Red Sox jacket and hat, Diamond sang during the traditional eighth-inning sing-along to “Sweet Caroline,” marking his first appearance at the ballpark since 2013.
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Fans in the ballpark sang along with Diamond, chanting Sweet Caroline / Good times never seemed so good, adding in the bah, bah, bah and so good, so good, so good on cue to the song, which has been the Red Sox anthem since 1997.
Used for decades as a sports anthem and rallying cry, the song was most recently used by the NFL for the Carolina Panthers. “Sweet Caroline” also became a popular chant for English football fans during Euro 2020, and on June 4, Rod Stewart performed the song as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in London.
Prior to his recent appearance, Diamond performed “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway on opening night of the 2010 season and returned to the park in 2013 following the Boston Marathon bombing to lead the crowd in a rendition of the song. Diamond’s most recent appearance at Fenway is a rarer occurrence for the singer and songwriter these days. In 2018, Diamond revealed that he was retiring from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” said Diamond in 2018. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good,’ thanks to you.”
Joined by the cast of Neil Diamond: A Beautiful Noise, Diamond was in town to celebrate the musical based on his life, which runs June 21-July 31 in Boston. Sadly the Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-2.
Photo: Universal Music Enterprises