For example, Starbucks is giving free coffee to first responders and medical staff. J.K. Rowling has loosened the license on her Harry Potter series so teachers can record videos of themselves reading the Harry Potter books and post the videos for their students to watch. Some stores are continuing to pay their employees even though the stores are temporarily closed and the employees can’t come to work.
Another wonderful thing we’ve all finally learned is the correct way to wash our hands. We should’ve known this since we were kids, but now, more than ever, we’re singing “Happy Birthday” in the bathroom to make sure we wash our hands long enough.
Neil Diamond has hand washing on his mind too. In fact, he modified the words to his popular song “Sweet Caroline” to reflect the current social distancing situation. The original words are as follows:
“Hands, touching hands
Reaching out, touching me, touching you”
In his modified version, the words go like this:
“Hands, washing hands
Reaching out, I won’t touch you, don’t touch me”
Not only did he change the words, but he recorded himself singing the entire modified version of the song in his home. In the video, he is dressed casually, like a lot of people are these days. He’s wearing a baseball cap, sitting in front of a fireplace holding his guitar.
He begins the video by saying, “…I know we’re going through a rough time right now, but I love you, and I think maybe if we sing together, well, we’ll feel just a little bit better.”
Watch Neil Diamond sing this updated version of “Sweet Caroline” in the video below.
In the comments, fans are genuinely touched by the lyrics to the song and by the fact that Neil Diamond himself performed it. One comment reads, “Ironically and quite movingly, the words ‘Don’t touch me,’ and ‘I won’t touch you’ become a way of touching each other. So, funny on the surface, and poignant deep down.” Another fan wrote, “He’s the real deal. Plays his own guitar and sings his own lyrics with that wonderful smile. Thank you Neil! We need this during these times.”
What do you think of this modified version of “Sweet Caroline”?