Neil Diamond, whose classic song Sweet Caroline is a staple for Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, says the Boston Marathon bombings and other recent tragedies have moved him to pen new music.
"I'm writing now and obviously affected by this situation in Boston, so I'm writing about it just to express myself," Diamond told music magazine Rolling Stone.
The Boston bombings came not long after recent mass shootings in Aurora, Col., and Newtown, Conn.
Soaring sales for Sweet Caroline
Sales for Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline have soared since the tune became a source of comfort following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
Nielsen SoundScan said Wednesday the song sold 19,000 tracks this week, compared with 2,800 tracks the previous week and 1.75 million tracks to date.
"It's like an infestation," Diamond said. "I'm writing about the general situation, not just about this bombing in Boston, but what we're going through with all of these tragedies."
The singer is moving the track along at a quick pace for release as early as next weekend.
"I spent the whole day recording it," he told Rolling Stone. "With a little bit of help from the man upstairs, I'll have it finished by the weekend."
Solace through music
Several professional sports teams — including MLB's New York Yankees and the National Basketball League's Toronto Raptors — played Diamond's Sweet Caroline at games as a tribute to the city of Boston in the days after the deadly blasts. The song has long been a mainstay at Red Sox home games.
'There's no accounting for what can happen to a song. But this one had something special to it.'—Neil Diamond
Diamond, who was inducted in 2011 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, spoke about the comfort that music — like his song — can offer last week, while attending the most recent Rock Hall induction ceremony.
"In this particular situation, I'd much rather it not have happened than for Sweet Caroline to become part of it. But it's obviously offering comfort to people and I feel good about that," Diamond said.
"I think there's a little bit of God in that song. I always have felt that. There's no accounting for what can happen to a song. But this one had something special to it."
On Saturday, he also made a surprise appearance at Boston's Fenway Park at the first Red Sox home game since the bombings to lead a rousing sing-a-long of Sweet Caroline.