By Jon Wiederhorn
For more than 10 years, Neil Diamond’s single "Sweet Caroline" has played over the loudspeakers at Boston Red Sox home games during the seventh inning stretch. In a gesture to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, people bought the song in droves last week, boosting sales of the tune 597 percent to 19,000 copies for the week, reported Nielsen SoundScan. Now, in a genuine good will effort, Diamond is donating all of the money to marathon bombing victims.
With iTunes selling the track at $1.29 and competitor eMusic selling it for 79 cents, Diamond’s total donation should average out somewhere between $15,010 and $24,510.
To show his solidarity to Boston, Diamond traveled to Boston and led Red Sox fans through a stirring round of "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway Park last Saturday at the team’s first home game since the bombings. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Raptors and other sports teams also played the song at games following the Boston Marathon tragedy.
Interestingly, the lyrics of "Sweet Caroline" don’t reference Boston or the Red Sox. Diamond says the song, written in 1969, was named after Caroline Kennedy, who was eleven years old at the time.