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BBC asks nation to serenade Queen with Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline to celebrate Platinum Jubilee 

BBC asks nation to serenade Queen with Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee

  • BBC announced plans to get 10million people singing Sweet Caroline to Queen
  • Song was chosen by BBC Radio 2 listeners and announced by presenter Zoe Ball
  • It will fall on final day of celebrations to thank Her Majesty for 70 years of service 

The BBC has launched a campaign to get the nation singing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The corporation announced plans to get the nation serenading the Queen on June 5 by singing the soft rock classic at their street parties on the final day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

The song was chosen as the winner of a poll by listeners of Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 breakfast show from a list of hundreds of suggestions, the BBC presenter said.

Announcing the campaign this morning, Ball added: ‘We’re hoping also that loads of grassroots music groups and choirs and school bands and brass bands will learn the song and perform it too,’ said Ball.

‘We really want to encourage the country to all come together.’

As the BBC said it hoped 10million people will join in the singalong, Ball described the 53-year-old hit as ‘a song of togetherness’. 

The BBC has launched a campaign to get the nation singing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Pictured: The Queen at the Chelsea Flower Show

Neil Diamond penned the song in 1969 reportedly for his second wife who was called Marcia

Neil Diamond penned the song in 1969 reportedly for his second wife who was called Marcia

Where it began! The story behind Diamond’s hit Sweet Caroline 

First released by US pop legend Neil Diamond, the lilting song, about how a mystery woman named Caroline was written back in 1969 in half an hour in a Memphis hotel room, Diamond has claimed.

The song shot made headlines in England last summer as an unofficial anthem of the Three Lions’ Euro campaign. 

However, it’s not the first time Diamond’s song has been adopted by sports fans, with the Boston Red Sox famously using the tune as their unofficial ballpark anthem and English clubs including Aston Villa also partial to warbling it from the stands.

When Diamond first released the song, in May 1969, it spent 14 weeks on the US chart peaking at number 4, and made it to number 8 on the UK charts.

While there’s no reference to sport in it, Diamond’s lyrics ‘good times never felt so good’ means that dozens of sports teams on both sides of the Pond have used it to celebrate wins on the pitch.

After the tragedy of the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013, Diamond turned up at the stadium to sing Sweet Caroline to fans at the first match following the terrorist attack.

He told the baseball club’s website the song ‘somehow had a connection to the spiritual nature of people’s lives.’

On this side of the Atlantic, the song has also been a regular blasted around football grounds and was previously heard before in big boxing fights in the UK.

First released by US pop legend Neil Diamond in 1969, the lilting song was reportedly inspired by his second wife Marcia Murphey who he married that year.

Diamond reportedly needed a three-syllable name to make the chorus work and was inspired by the daughter of US President John F Kennedy, Caroline, who was 11 at the time.

The song has since become a popular anthem at sporting events and was picked as the unofficial anthem of choice for fans at England’s games during their Euros 2020 campaign.

It has also been adopted by fans of the Boston Red Sox, regularly being sung at Fenway Park, and has been a fan favourite at major boxing events for years.

Released in the UK in 1971, it reached number eight in the charts, selling more than 1.2 million copies. 

The song is an audience participation classic, with the crowd singing ‘dum-dum-dum’ after the words ‘Sweet Caroline’ in the chorus and ‘so good, so good, so good’ after ‘good times never seemed so good’. 

While it may have been the popular option for Radio 2 listeners, some fans have complained that the song of choice should have been by a British band or artists. 

The BBC has joined forces with the Together Coalition – a charity that aims ‘to help build kinder, closer and more connected communities to face the challenges that lie ahead’.

The organisation was responsible for launching the first Thank You Day last year which was held to recognise those who had helped the country through the pandemic.

This year’s Thank You Day will take place on June 5 – lining up with the date the BBC hope millions will join them in serenading the Queen.

The charity said the day was chosen to provide the country with an opportunity to thank the Queen for her 70 years of service.

Brendan Cox, co-founder of the Together coalition, told the BBC: ‘Music is a great way of bringing people together, and this is a fantastic song.

‘We’ll be doing everything we can to get Sweet Caroline ringing out all over the country on 5 June.’

The campaign was announced by BBC presenter Zoe Ball on the Breakfast show this morning

The campaign was announced by BBC presenter Zoe Ball on the Breakfast show this morning

The charity added: ‘The concept of getting together as friends, families, neighbours and communities, to raise a glass to The Queen for her 70 years of outstanding service, and to say a great big thank you to each other as well, is one that fits with the ambitions of the Together Coalition; kindness and connection.

‘Let’s do it in style. Make sure everyone is included, get the school band to play and invite the next street over. Let’s make this the biggest thank you party ever that connects the UK!’

Still time to practise! Sweet Caroline: The lyrics in full 

We know all the words! England stars sang along with the crowd during their Euros campaign

 We know all the words! England stars sang along with the crowd during their Euros campaign

Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing 

But then I know it’s growing strong

Was in the spring

And spring became the summer

Who’d have believed you’d come along

Hands, touching hands

Reaching out, touching me, touching you

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good

I’ve been inclined

To believe they never wouldBut now I

Look at the night and it don’t seem so lonely

We filled it up with only two

And when I hurt

Hurting runs off my shoulders

How can I hurt when holding you

One, touching one

Reaching out, touching me, touching you

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good

I’ve been inclined

To believe they never would

Oh no, no

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good

Sweet Caroline

I believe they never could

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good

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