Sweet Caroline: Why do Lionesses fans sing the Neil Diamond hit?

England football fans have all kinds of songs that they hold near and dear when the national team is playing. Classics like Vindaloo, Three Lions, Come On England, and many others can be heard in the stadium and in pubs around the nation when England plays. However, over the last couple of years, it looks as though Neil Diamond is becoming synonymous with the England team too. Specifically, the Lionesses fans have been singing Sweet Caroline – a song released by Neil Diamond back in 1969. 

Lionesses Sweet Caroline

This is obviously quite some time ago. In fact, it almost dates back as far as 1966, which was the last time that England won a World Cup. As for how this song has now become part of the Lionesses World Cup campaign, well, I’m about to give you the scoop on that right now. Yet before I do, I’d recommend a quick glance at the lyrics so that you can join in when Sweet Caroline is sung for the World Cup final tomorrow!

Sweet Caroline and the Lionesses – the link explained

It goes without saying that this hit has absolutely nothing to do with football, that I can clear up right away. The song is actually about love and all of the positive emotions that come with being in love. This is reflected in lyrics such as ‘hands, touching hands’, as well as ‘good times never seemed so good’. Yet how does all of this translate to the football pitch? 

Well, as you might know, ‘good times never seemed so good’ is immediately followed up by three chants of ‘so good’ – usually at top volume to give the Lionesses a boost. But while this is all well and good, how and why was Sweet Caroline picked out of all of the possible World Cup songs for the Lionesses?

Neil Diamond, Sweet Caroline, and the Lionesses – how they were brought together

For starters, I can tell you that the 2023 Women’s World Cup isn’t the first tournament where England fans have sung Sweet Caroline as a theme tune. In fact, it started back when England beat Germany in the Euro 2020 event. Of course, this relates to the men’s tournament, and this song was put into the spotlight because of a DJ called Tony Parry. Following the victory over Germany, it was Tony Parry who made the call to play Sweet Caroline instead of something expected such as Vindaloo or Come On England.

And as it happens, the song was incredibly well received – so much so that it stuck to the Lions and transitioned over for the Lionesses too. Ironically, Sweet Caroline then became the theme tune for the Women’s Euro 2022 event, an event in which they conquered Germany to win the tournament. Adding to that, if you’ve been watching the 2023 Women’s World Cup, you will have seen thousands of fans singing Sweet Caroline when England beat the Aussies 3-1 in the semi-finals.

With quite incredible scenes, the many Lionesses fans sang their hearts out following the final whistle. The players also joined in with the fans, which was pretty cool to see. And as they approach the World Cup final on Sunday, maybe Neil Diamond can help the Lionesses to go all the way?

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