Pop Culture

Neil Diamond reveals 'Sweet Caroline' is about more than JFK's daughter

Was the TODAY plaza cold on Monday morning? According to the thermometer it should have been — but with Neil Diamond on hand and singing the classic "Sweet Caroline," things couldn't have been warmer.

But guess what? Despite the widely-held belief that the 1969 hit is about Caroline Kennedy (daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy), Diamond explained that's only partly true. 

He knew of the young Miss Kennedy, but said, "I was writing a song in Memphis, Tennessee, for a session. I needed a three-syllable name. The song was about my wife at the time — her name was Marsha — and I couldn't get a 'Marsha' rhyme."

Enter "Caroline"!

Diamond is a classic gem in the rock business: He's sold over 125 million albums in his over five-decade career, he's a Grammy winner and a Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Famer. And now he's releasing his first album in six years, "Melody Road," so he wanted to share some new tunes (like "Something Blue") with his fans.

Not that making it came easy, he admitted later. "I was a nervous wreck going into this new album," he said. "I had 40 or almost 50 years of songwriting to match up to."

Today+Show+sound+check!+Hello+NYC!+pic.twitter.com/CwM268TC7T

—+Neil+Diamond+(@NeilDiamond)+October+20,+2014+

Still, anyone with that kind of career is clearly doing something right. "I like being around for a long time," he chuckled. "When I started, a career was three months, one record. So I'm very happy to be here and [that] people still know who I am."

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