Neil Diamond happy "Sweet Caroline" offers comfort

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: Singer Neil Diamond arrives at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) Jason Merritt

Neil Diamond said he's happy his "Sweet Caroline," a staple of Boston Red Sox games, can provide comfort after the Boston Marathon bombing.

The New York Yankees, Toronto Raptors and other professional sports teams have played the song at games in the days after Monday's deadly blasts, with fans and players often singing along.

"There is a lot of comfort that music can offer," Diamond told The Associated Press. "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 spoke Thursday night in Los Angeles at the Rock and Roll Hall induction ceremony. He said he intended the song, first released in 1969 and addressed to Caroline Kennedy, to offer solace.

"I wrote it in a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee," he said. "And 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."

The popular sing-along song has been featured at Boston Red Sox home games since 2002.

On Tuesday night, the Yankees honored Boston, home of their longtime rivals, by playing the Diamond hit over the public-address system after the third inning against Arizona. Yankees fans sang along, and some people in the crowd wore Red Sox hats and jerseys.

"Thank you NY Yankees for playing 'Sweet Caroline' for the people of Boston," Diamond wrote on his Twitter page that night. "You scored a home run in my heart. With respect, Neil #OneBoston."

The tune was also played at a game in Miami the same night with the crowd at Marlins Park singing along to "Sweet Caroline" before the bottom of the eighth inning

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