How Neil Diamond’s Candy Caroline turned an unintended soccer anthem


Neil Diamond in 2014

Neil Diamond despatched a very good luck message to the England gamers earlier than Wednesday’s semi-final

Neil Diamond’s Candy Caroline, a track written greater than 50 years in the past concerning the daughter of a former US president, has turn out to be the unofficial anthem of the England crew at Euro 2020. And it isn’t the one pop track to have been adopted by England followers.

“I’ve by no means seen something prefer it!” cried former England footballer Micah Richards on BBC Radio 5 Dwell on Wednesday.

Over on ITV, one other former England player-turned-pundit, Gary Neville, soaked up the joyful ambiance in Wembley Stadium and declared: “This is likely one of the finest experiences I feel I’ve had in soccer.”

They weren’t talking after England’s males certified for his or her first main closing since 1966.

They have been speaking earlier than the semi-final, when 60,000 folks have been belting out Candy Caroline because the groups ready to take to the pitch.

A few hours later, the track blasted out of the audio system once more, and this time the entire squad linked arms and jumped up and down as they joined within the euphoric refrain.

Someway, a track first launched by an American comfortable rock star in 1969 has all of the sudden been adopted as England’s new sporting anthem.

“There are particular songs that you just go, ‘I fully get why that is being sung en masse,'” says actor Steve Furst, who performs a Neil Diamond tribute act.

“And a track like Candy Caroline is under no circumstances a shock as a result of the Diamond enchantment is that he would not overcomplicate something. That quite simple sing-along refrain simply makes it excellent, and everybody is aware of it.”

Paul Carr, professor in widespread music evaluation on the College of South Wales, who wrote a current article about what makes an awesome match anthem, provides: “It is a track that is received a number of nostalgic resonance for most of the individuals who sing it.

“The large factor is simplicity of the melody, and there is one thing within the lyrics.”

Easy however emotive phrases like “Good occasions by no means felt so good” and “Reaching out, touching me, touching you” are coupled with the anticipatory build-up, resulting in a rousing refrain. That every one makes it a feelgood communal sing-along – particularly after greater than a yr of lockdowns and social distancing.

Diamond has stated he truly wrote the love track about his spouse Marcia, however her identify did not match the tune. Nevertheless, he had remembered {a magazine} picture he had seen of Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

His track reached quantity 4 within the US chart and quantity eight within the UK, and have become a staple of Diamond’s stay exhibits. However the first trace of its potential as a sporting crowd-pleaser got here within the late Nineteen Nineties when it was performed throughout a Boston Crimson Sox baseball sport for an worker who had named her new child Caroline.

The Crimson Sox determined it was good luck, and began enjoying it each week from 2003. In 2013, the singer pledged all future royalties from the tune to a charity supporting victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Diamond performed the song at Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park in 2013

Diamond carried out the track at Boston Crimson Sox’s Fenway Park in 2013

NFL crew Carolina Panthers additionally adopted it, as did the Northern Irish soccer crew within the 2000s.

Arsenal performed it after their 2017 FA Cup semi-final victory, and it has additionally been claimed by followers of Aston Villa and the Castleford Tigers rugby league facet. In the meantime, the England cricket crew celebrated their 2019 World Cup victory with a rendition, and boxer Tyson Fury has used it to rousing impact.

It is from the primary pop track to discover a new lease of life in a sport stadium. Liverpool FC’s anthem You may By no means Stroll Alone was written for the hit musical Carousel, whereas Scotland followers have claimed the 1977 hit Sure Sir, I Can Boogie.

After England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final win over Germany, Wembley DJ Tony Parry stated he went together with his intuition to play Candy Caroline as a substitute of Fats Les’s 1998 World Cup anthem Vindaloo.

He informed TalkSport: “I used to be going to play Vindaloo, however went with my intestine. Even the German followers have been belting it out ultimately. It is a track that each one followers can get pleasure from.

“The match director stated in my in-ear, ‘The world’s been closed for 18 months… let ’em have it’.”

England fans in full voice at Wembley Stadium

England followers in full voice at Wembley Stadium

Candy Caroline has even threatened to eclipse Three Lions because the England followers’ track of selection on the pandemic-delayed match.

“I assumed Candy Caroline went barely higher than Three Lions within the post-match sing-song,” Three Lions co-writer Frank Skinner famous after the Germany sport. “I felt like we would beat Germany and misplaced to Neil Diamond in further time.”

Three Lions was initially penned as England’s official observe for Euro 96 by Skinner, fellow comic David Baddiel and The Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie, who captured the football-fevered goals of a number nation starved of success.

Ian Broudie, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel

Ian Broudie, lead singer of The Lightning Seeds, wrote Three Lions with Frank Skinner (center) and David Baddiel (proper) in 1996

A agency fan favorite by the point England thrillingly progressed to the semi-finals – solely to gallantly lose to Germany on penalties when present England supervisor Gareth Southgate, then a participant, noticed his spot-kick saved – the track’s chorus of “30 years of harm” may equally eulogise superb failure.

The observe has continued to ingrain itself in tradition, topping the charts on a report 4 separate events, most just lately throughout England’s 2018 World Cup run, earlier than sound monitoring the facet on this summer season’s run to the ultimate.

However with Candy Caroline now getting such an enormous raucous response, information of its reputation has even reached 80-year-old Diamond himself, who informed The Telegraph he was “thrilled” on the scenes. He additionally despatched a very good luck message to the gamers earlier than Wednesday’s semi-final.

The England squad have actually thrived within the ambiance it creates.

“You may’t beat a little bit of Neil Diamond,” Southgate informed ITV earlier than Wednesday’s sport. “It is only a actually joyous track, I feel, that brings folks collectively.”

Three different pop songs for England followers to sing

Entire Once more – Atomic Kitten

Initially a success for the lady group again in 2001, England followers revived the pop ballad on the peak of World Cup mania in the summertime of 2018, borrowing lyrics from Three Lions to transform it as an ode to Southgate and the crew.Followers modified the lyrics “Child you are the one, you continue to flip me on, you may make me entire once more” to “Southgate you are the one, you continue to flip me on, soccer’s coming residence once more“.

In gentle of renewed curiosity at Euro 2020, the lady group – now comprising Liz McClarnon, Jenny Frost and Natasha Hamilton – introduced on Tuesday that they have been releasing the brand new model.

They gave a public efficiency of the observe, known as Southgate You are The One (Soccer’s Coming House Once more), in Leicester Sq. forward of the match on Wednesday, backed by the Hyde Park Brass band.

They stated it had been a “whirlwind couple of days”, however they have been “tremendous excited” to contribute to the celebrations.

Freed From Want – Gala

Gala’s 90s euro dance observe was first totally embraced by Northern Eire’s followers throughout Euro 2016.

They adopted a model paying tribute to the membership type of striker, Will Grigg, whose targets had helped Wigan win League One which season and impressed Latics supporter Sean Kennedy to alter the lyrics to “Will Grigg’s on fireplace… your defence is terrified”.

It was then tailored by England followers to the tune of “Vardy’s on fireplace” and stays widespread in soccer celebrations throughout nations, breaking the language barrier with its effortlessly chantable “na, na” refrain.

Seven Nation Military – The White Stripes

Jack and Meg White’s 2003 mega-smash has its beginnings as a soccer anthem on the 2006 World Cup, when Italy followers celebrated their crew’s success in Germany.

The squad would additionally finally take part, singing the guitar chorus as a part of their victory celebrations. It has since turn out to be the soundtrack to a plethora of sporting occasions and crowd celebrations worldwide.

Discussing the observe’s ubiquity as a chant in 2014, White informed US TV host Conan O’Brien: “Folks come as much as me on a regular basis, and so they suppose it makes me mad for some cause.”

“I do not know why they suppose it upsets me. As a songwriter, that is the best factor that might ever occur. It turns into folks music.”

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