Neil Diamond wanted to spread a little joy this holiday season, so he did it the way he knew best: through music.
The 79-year-old singer challenged his fans to participate in a worldwide singalong of his beloved classic “Sweet Caroline,” and boy, did they deliver!
From November 20 to December 4, submissions poured in into the now-expired sweetcarolinesingalong.com website. Fans of all ages and nationalities sent in video entries of themselves belting out the legendary 1969 hit, with every “performer” emanating nothing but pure joy as they sang.
It was the kind of happiness that our society needed to see more of, especially during such a challenging time.
The clips were then compiled into a three-minute video showing people from all walks of life coming together for a makeshift musical production in their own homes and workplaces.
The participants included a cute elderly couple dancing together as they sang, and crowds of people gathered in a stadium (shot pre-COVID) singing along to the classic tune. Even Santa Claus himself made an appearance!
Diamond unveiled the final compilation of the massive singalong on Instagram and YouTube last week.
“2020 has been a tough year for everyone, so we wanted to bring people together the best way we knew how: Through music,” read a message at the beginning of the clip as the instrumental intro to “Sweet Caroline” played.
“To inspire people to come together, we challenged fans all around the world to sing along to ‘Sweet Caroline.'”
Although it was such a feel-good video, some people couldn’t help but be moved to tears upon watching it.
“Cried my eyes out. So beautiful,” said one of the singer’s Instagram followers, with many echoing the same experience.
The video’s reveal coincided with the release of Diamond’s newest studio album with The London Symphony Orchestra called Classic Diamonds, which quickly claimed its spot in the charts as it landed in the top five on its first week of release.
“Sweet Caroline,” originally released in 1969, has truly stood the test of time. In fact, it might be more popular now than it was back then. The song is usually played during large gatherings and sporting events, and it always proves to be a crowd-pleaser. People just couldn’t help but join in, making it the perfect song to use for a singalong.
Earlier this year, Diamond had enjoyed sort of a comeback when he gave “Sweet Caroline” a coronavirus-related spin to stress the importance of handwashing and social distancing.
He tweaked the lyrics “Hands, touching hands / Reaching out, touching me, touching you,” to “Hands, washing hands / Reaching out, don’t touch me, I won’t touch you.”
Some lyrics didn’t need to be changed because it perfectly reflected the coronavirus pandemic.
“Where it began I can’t begin to knowin’ / But then I know it’s growing strong / Was in the spring / And spring became the summer. Who’d believed you’d come along?”
“I know we’re going through a rough time right now, but I love ya, and I think maybe if we sing together, we’ll feel just a little bit better,” he told fans at the time.
Diamond retired from touring two years ago when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but he continues to bring joy to the world through his music.
Here’s the inspirational and heartwarming “Sweet Caroline” global singalong. Enjoy and don’t forget to share with your friends and family!
This musical gift from Neil Diamond and his team is a reminder that we still have a lot to smile about, even during an inexplicably rough year. Have a Happy Holidays, everyone!