Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Neil Diamond retools 'Sweet Caroline' as coronavirus PSA

Neil Diamond performs onstage at the Keep Memory

Neil Diamond performs onstage at the Keep Memory Alive 'Power of Love Gala' benefit on March 7, 2020, in Las Vegas. Credit: Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive / Bryan Steffy

Neil Diamond is going viral — in a good way.

The Long Island Music Hall of Famer released a video Monday that transforms his hit “Sweet Caroline” into a public service announcement targeting the coronavirus.

“I know we’re going through a rough time right now, but I love ya, and I think maybe if we sing together, well, we’ll just feel a little bit better,” Diamond says in the video. Sitting in front of a fireplace with an acoustic guitar, Diamond then launches into the 1969 pop anthem, but with a new chorus: “Hands / Washing hands / Reaching out / Don’t touch me / I won’t touch you.”

As of Tuesday evening, Diamond’s video had earned more than 2 million views on YouTube. The Brooklyn-born musician, 79, has retired from touring following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Diamond is the latest entertainer to release a short video aimed at raising fans’ spirits during the pandemic.

Disco diva Gloria Gaynor washed her hands while singing her hit song “I Will Survive” and actress Rita Wilson celebrated her recovery from the illness by singing Naughty By Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray.” Madonna, in a much-maligned and now-vanished video, mused about the virus while sitting in a bathtub with flower petals.

Exclusive subscription offer

Newsday covers the stories that matter most to Long Islanders. We dig deep to uncover the facts, hold the powerful in check and keep a watchful eye on Long Island.

Your digital subscription, starting at $1, supports local journalism vital to the community.


More Entertainment