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Neil Diamond updates ‘Sweet Caroline’ to fight coronavirus

Updated March 22, 2020 - 12:45 pm

It turns out Neil Diamond’s appearance at the Power of Love gala at MGM Grand on March 7 was not his final performance.

He’s returned to the stage, online, for an encore.

Diamond posted a video of himself on his social media pages Saturday night, singing his classic “Sweet Caroline,” with updated lyrics advising watchers of anti-coronavirus safety measures. The clip is posted on his @NeilDiamond Twitter and Instagram pages.

The clip opens with very up-close view of Diamond’s doggie, then pans up.

“I know we’re going through a rough time right now, but I love ya,” says Diamond, seated in front of a cozy fire while wearing a jacket and ball cap and armed with an acoustic guitar. “And I think if we sing together, well, we’ll feel a little bit better. Give it a try, OK?”

Diamond then sings the song, to his own guitar accompaniment. A new lyric: “Hands! Washing hands! Reaching out, don’t touch me! I won’t touch you!”

Diamond was the celeb honoree at the most recent Keep Memory Alive fundrasing gala at MGM Grand Garden, the annual benefit event for the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Cleveland Clinic.

In January 2018, Diamond announced he was retiring from live performances after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. But he had one more boffo performance, closing the show with a surprise, seven-song medley of “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Hello Again,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” Love on the Rocks,” “I Am … I Said,” “September Morn” and — naturally — “Sweet Caroline.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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