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1969 – Sweet Caroline

February 1st, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

As the sixties come to a close, there were a few very catchy tunes in 1969 that I know I heard a lot on the radio. Sugar, Sugar by the Arches is one that we were all singing in the playground at primary school, and there was Boom Bang-a-Bang by Lulu and A boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash. Other songs I was hearing a lot were Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris, Melting Pot by Blue Mink and Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter Paul and Mary.

Of course there were also classic songs that I was too young for and/or were not featured on Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart’s radio show, Crackerjack, or any of the light entertainment/variety TV shows, but which became favourites years later, many, many years later in some cases – things like Pinball Wizard, Oh Well, Badge, Come Together, Time Is Tight and the mighty Whole Lotta Love, which I would have known, but ony as the TOTP theme tune.

There was one song that stands out though, and it straddles both camps. I had heard it at the time but only really came to appreciate it very recently. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, the second song written by him to feature on this playlist. It is such a joyful song and such a favourite for singalongs and karaoke. We have been lucky enough to visit quite a few places on holidays, and there is always entertainment there. wherever you are in the world, there are a few songs that will always crop up and everybody knows them, whether they are Brits, Americans, Europeans, Aussies or whatever, and this is one of those songs. Is it even possible to hear somebody sing “Sweet Caroline” without getting the urge to sing “Pa-pa-pa” afterwards?

If I ever put together  playlist of songs to inspire joy and just make me smile, this would be on there, along with I’m A Believer, Daydream Believer, Bring Me Sunshine and a few others.

1969 had some cultural milestones in it. A lot of the acts we think of as 70’s acts actually started out in 1968/69 and in 1969 there were debut albums  by Caravan, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Genesis, Chicago, Elton John, Yes, Santana, King Crimson and Rod Stewart. The seeds of the 70’s were really sewn in 1969 but this single song by Neil Diamond eclipses them a today. It still sounds fresh and always makes me want to sing, even if it is only “Pa-pa-pa”.

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