The song "Sweet Caroline" is required listening for everyone. You'd be hard pressed to find a person who doesn't know at least the chorus of the iconic Neil Diamond song, and who won't chant "SO GOOD! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!" as though they are the official lyrics.
The song has become anthemic for Boston Red Sox fans, and it's played before the bottom of the 8th inning at every single game as a good luck charm.
But the story behind the song has always been somewhat of a mystery. Who is Caroline? Diamond was married to his wife, Marcia, when the song was released, and it certainly wasn't about her. People chalked it up to an emotionless (yet oddly sexual) song written to please the masses.
However, Diamond finally revealed the inspiration behind "Sweet Caroline," and if we're being honest, it's kinda creepy.
In 2007, Diamond revealed that his inspiration behind "Sweet Caroline" was actually written about a young Caroline Kennedy. Kennedy, who was no more than 12 years old at the time, was pictured on a magazine cover riding a horse. Diamond felt a connection to the picture.
“It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony,” he recalled. “It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there.”
It seems innocent enough, until you start to read the lyrics.
And now I, I look at the night, whooo
And it don’t seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two, oh
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulder,
How can I hurt when holding you?
"It was a No. 1 record and probably is the biggest, most important song of my career, and I have to thank her for the inspiration," Diamond said of Kennedy. "I'm happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy."
The inspiration may seem out of place, and when Diamond spoke about the song years later, people began question the truth behind it. In 2014, Diamond said it was his ex-wife who inspired him.
"I was writing a song in Memphis, Tennessee, for a session. I needed a three-syllable name," Diamond said during an appearance on "Today." "The song was about my wife at the time — her name was Marcia— and I couldn't get a 'Marcia' rhyme."