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Neil Diamond Awkward Moment With

Chick Who Inspired 'Sweet Caroline'

12/28/2011 8:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Neil Diamond has said "Sweet Caroline" was inspired by a photo of a 4-year-old Caroline Kennedy -- hence the awkward laughter when Caroline recited the line, "touching me, touching you" back at the singer during the Kennedy Center Honors event last night.

Diamond insists there was nothing pervy about the song -- in 2007, he explained, "It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony ... It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."

Still, kinda weird ... right?

72 COMMENTS

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31.

Ehécatl    

O.K., maybe the song isn't pervry and, O.K., Neal Diamond isn't John Wayne Gacey. But the song suggests more than just a man looking at a photograph ---- it suggests that the man has a romantic relationship with the subject of the song. For example, it talks about "good times" and seems to suggest that the lyricist had "good times" with "Caroline". A grown man singing about a relationship with a 4-year-old is odd.

BTW, I think he said that she was 11 when he wrote the song, not 4. Of course, that doesn't make the song any less odd.

1032 days ago
32.

Keith    

Neil doesn't need to worry about what other people think. He's one of the wealthiest entertainers on the planet.

1032 days ago
33.

Gigi    

Do all you negative people know what the word "inspire" means? To be inspired by something just means that it gives you a certain creative feeling or idea. He saw a picture of a sweet girl with her pony during one of the most "feel good" times this country has ever known, and it made him happy and he was inspired to write a song about a happy, innocent, sweet love he shared with a woman. It is disgusting to me that you would try to make Neil Diamond into a pervert.

1032 days ago
34.

shelly    

if carolyn were really offended by neil's lyrics there's no way she would introduce him..she had good comic timing when she looked creeped out by the words touching me touching you..if john jr said the same thing people would be saying how charming he is...cmonman

1032 days ago
35.

Barb    

Well what do these lyrics to the song mean then: "And now I, I look at the night, whooo And it don't seem so lonely.
We fill it up with only two, oh And when I hurt, Hurting runs off my shoulder. How can I hurt when holding you?

1032 days ago
36.

Oh well    

Very very strange!!!

1032 days ago
37.

en Todo Momento!!    

yeah. reaaaaaaaaaaaaaal freakin weird! ew.

1032 days ago
38.

nof    

As "Mark M." pointed out five hours back, it's not a literal reference gimme a break it's the end of the year.

1032 days ago
39.

Chris    

Seriously guys? Give me a break. This song is so far from creepy and I know for a fact that this song has nothing to do with anything pervy in nature. Harvey, stories like this are exactly what is wrong with the media/world today!

1032 days ago
40.

Diane     

Not weird at all, TMZ. You have to remember that it was a more innocent time back in the early 60's (no not racially, but perverts weren't around every corner then - and even if they were - you wouldn't have known it!).

1032 days ago
41.

crimsons    

I think it's sweet. And Caroline looks beautiful -- she's in her mid-50s! If her delivery was stilted, it's probably because she *knew* everyone was expecting her to say it, so it was a little contrived. I don't see how she could've *not* said it.

1032 days ago
42.

LovelyMamacita    

Nothing pervy. It was a song written during a time when the world was reaching out to touch & comfort Caroline Kennedy. She had lost her father, our President, and our Nation saw her as "our daughter". My grandparents still remember this time, and they speak of it as though JFK were a family member who died. They still feel the pain. The song is about Caroline, and the good times which would never seem so good again, Neil sings that he believes they never would. They never would be so good as they were during the time her father was living. It's a beautiful tribute and a lovely song. It's not weird. You're weird for thinking it. The thing about perversion is that it's the mind of the pervert that always sees perverted things in everything, even the sweet, simple things of life seem perverted to the pervert. There's a bible verse that I dont' remember word for word but it's about pulling the log out of your own eye before pointing out the twig in somebody else's. Neil Diamond wrote a sweet song about a sweet girl who had endured a tragic moment during what should have been the best time of her life. He's a classy man.

1032 days ago
43.

virgosiempre    

I believe him. Who didn't smile when looking at photos of Kennedy children? Everyone loved them and still do. The innocence was charming and I was only 10. Today I look and how same emotion, sweetness and innocence. Rare commodity these days.

1032 days ago
44.

debraj    

Are you people being serious here??? To think that this song was anything other than a beautiful melody is just wrong! Those of you who think it has anything remotely to do with perversion or pedophelia are the sick ones!! I think how she mentioned the lyrics was really charming and I'm sure he was flattered.

1032 days ago
45.

colleen    

Neil Diamond wrote the song for his then wife, but like the rest of the world was watching the Kennedy's and used Caroline's name in the song. So, named after her but not about her.

1032 days ago
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