Monday, May 14, 2018

After Sixteen Years, Is it Time To Put 'Sweet Caroline' To Bed At Fenway Park?

A recent column by The Boston Globe's Dugan Arnett raises the question of whether Fenway's 8th-inning staple—the "gang"-signing of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline"should be mothballed. The "anthem" has now been sung before the bottom of the eighth for sixteen years—over 1,200 regular-season renditions. It was sporadically used as far back as the 1990s. A few years back, it was still enthusiastically belted out by the vast majority of fans. Today, not so much. In fact, many old-line (pre-2004) fans hate it—although they recognize that many "one-timers" to the 106-year-old ball-yard expect to hear it when they make their pilgrimage. Still, it's becoming grating to many an ear—and kind of a 'wussy' fight song anyway. Far better would be the rousing (and also very popular) 'Shipping Up To Boston' by The Dropkick Murphys. Whenever it is played as a rally-starter in the bottom of the ninth, it truly gets the old yard going. The song has it's own catchy refrain: "I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa-oh-oh....", not to mention the slightly gory, "Climbing up the top sails, I've lost my leg!". Wicked better!