Song Spotlight: “Sweet Caroline”

Photo of a pink rose, slightly open, on a white background. Song spotlights genre label reads, "soft rock/pop."
  • Mood: Happy
  • Themes: Love, 1970s, Sports
  • Tempo: Quick, Upbeat
  • Genre/Style: Soft Rock/Pop

We’re in the midst of baseball season, and with it comes the beloved songs that are featured in baseball games, from the old standard “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to the new classic “Sweet Caroline.”

Neil Diamond wrote “Sweet Caroline” in the late 1960s in just a few hours while recording another album. When it was released in 1969, it featured the full title “Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good),” which was later shortened to just “Sweet Caroline.” The song was not only popular with Diamond’s fans, but it also caught the attention of other artists. Notable artists from many genres have covered this song, too, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, and Jennifer Lopez.

In the 1990s, the song became a popular sports song. “Sweet Caroline” began to find popularity in college and professional sporting events in the U.S. and as the theme song of the Red Sox Nation (the Boston Red Socks’ fan group). It even made its way around the world to the Australian Football League Sydney Swans and to the Hong Kong Sevens Rugby Tournaments.

This is a great song to use within a group to sing along with. It can be used as a transition into discussion of favorite sports teams, an opportunity for musical engagement on instruments and more! 

Try This:

Theme – this would be a good song to include in collections of songs about love, the late 60s and early 70s, or sports. Other complementary songs may include “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” “Center Field,” and “All the Way.

Start a discussion of favorite sports teams and how they are doing in their current season. 

Musical Engagement: Print or display the lyrics and sing along. Sing along with the “bah bah bahs,” singing as enthusiastically as you can. For added energy you can punch or kick the air with the “bahs.”

Add instruments and play a steady beat along with the verses. Then, choose words to emphasize with the instruments, such as, “sweet Caroline” or “so good.”

Movement: You can do rhythmic movement to this song, like leg extensions or toe/heel tapping. Add upper body movements to add variety during the chorus.

For more song spotlights, visit our Song Spotlights page.

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