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Neil Diamond singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ at Fenway Park was as spontaneous as it looked

All together now…

Diamond sings with the crowd.
Diamond sings with the crowd.

TO THE SURPRISE of many, Neil Diamond showed up to Fenway Park on Saturday to sing his classic hit, “Sweet Caroline,” during a Red Sox game that included a pre-game ceremony honoring the heroes and victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. But the story of how he ended up singing for the fans is even more incredible.

According to Jason Mastrodonato of MLB.com, Diamond showed up unannounced to Fenway Park about 30 minutes prior to the game. He then called up to the control room and simply asked if he could sing the song that is heard during the 8th inning of every Red Sox home game.

In the age of appearance fees and musicians that make dozens of inane demands, it was an incredible gesture for the people of Boston.

The spontaneity of the moment could be heard during the performance (see video below). The Red Sox did not have a version of the song without vocals. So when Diamond is singing the song live to the fans, his voice can also be heard in the audio track. Still, it was a perfect addition to an emotional day at Fenway Park.

Earlier this week, several other Major League Baseball teams, including the New York Yankees, played the song at their own stadiums as a way to let the city of Boston know it was in their thoughts. Diamond responded to many of the teams on Twitter, thanking them for the kind gestures.

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