Euro 2020: Why do soccer fans sing Sweet Caroline?
Why has Sweet Caroline become the song of choice for Football fans?
English fans sang a happy rendition after the team’s stunning 2-1 win over Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-finals – and you will likely hear it in the stands tonight as they face off against the Italy in their first major international football final in 55 years.
Even manager Gareth Southgate said you couldn’t “beat” hearing it.
But have you ever wondered why Neil Diamond’s song, first released in 1969, has become such a football anthem?
Here is the story behind it.
Why do football fans sing the song Sweet Caroline?
It’s not entirely clear what prompted England fans to sing Sweet Caroline in the Wembley stands during the game against Germany.
Other than the fact that it’s a catchy song – and it’s quite emotional when sung by thousands of people in a crowd.
The words “good times have never been so good” also suited England’s historic victory.
But the song has been used by fans of Birmingham Football Club Aston Villa since 2019.
A clip of the team singing enthusiastically appeared on Twitter in May of the same year.
According to sports site Football Predictions, Aston Villa’s use of the song dates back to this February and a game against Stoke City.
It was played over the speakers at Britannia Stadium, and soon after, Villa won 12 games in a row.
Interestingly, it’s not just football fans, or even exclusively UK sports fans, who sing Sweet Caroline.
You will hear the song sung at English cricket matches, as well as boxing matches.
It’s also very possible that we slowly adopted the song as a sports anthem from across the pond.
In Boston, USA, the Red Sox baseball team face Sweet Caroline in every game these days, a trend that dates back to 1997.
Legend has it that a Boston baby named Caroline was born that year to a staff member at the team’s famous Fenway Park stadium.
And Amy Tobey, an employee who controlled the music playing over the speakers at Fenway Park, decided to play the song in honor of the birth.
It slowly became a hit with fans, and in 2002 they started playing the song more often to boost fan morale during tough times – and it has remained a steady rotation ever since.
In a YouTube video explaining how it all started, the team’s former executive vice president Charles Steinberg said:
“If the fans were going to sing, why not play it? Even on the worst day in baseball, the crowd was still singing.
Maybe the English soccer fans just wanted to mix it up a bit, after years of singing the song Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home).
25 years after its release, Three Lions is still the most played football anthem in the UK.
Maybe it’s time for a change!
England-Italy will start Sunday at 8 p.m. on ITV.
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