Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sweet Caroline Kennedy Twist

Caroline's bar and restaurant, on the northeast corner of Maryland and Bay Avenues in Somers Point, shares the old Bali Hi bar building with a law office and a high end kitchen and bathroom appliance store, so you can by a hopper, have lunch and a drink and get legal advice, all in one stop.

Named after Dave Tyson's daughter Caroline, the bar is patterend after the Historic Anchorage Tavern, down Bay Avenue, complete with its rectangle bar, two pool tables, juke box, vintage pix on the walls, dining room and menu. Everything but Don Mahoney's magic touch.

Dave Tyson, with Bill Morris, renovated the old Anchorage Tavern, converting the shot and beer bar into a classy joint, leasing out the kitchen to Tyson Merriman, who can now be found over at the equally historic Tuckahoe Inn, in Beesley's Point.

Then Dave took over the previously failed Bay Embers/Bali Hi/Rock Box/Seasons/ et al., and broke up the place, making the big round room the kitchen appliance store, another office for his legal partners, and fashioning the rest of the place into Caroline's.

The most noteable aspect of the location is the unobstructed view of the Atlantic City skyline across Lake's Bay, evident from Caroline's outdoor porch bar, where the bands usually set up.

Whether its a band or a dj, the most popular song and most frequent request is, of course, "Sweet Caroline," Neil Diamond's hit from 1969, not an insignificant year to anybody alive at the time.

For me, at the time, Diamond was a popular songwriter, who I later learned was from Canada from his inclusion in the Last Waltz concert/film, where he seemed really out of place among all the hippies and real artists.

"Sweet Caroline" is one of those songs the girls know all the words to, and after getting loose for awhile, seem to enjoy singing in unison. It is a phenomonen not unique to Caroline's bar in Somers Point, as it was also a popular group finale at Maloney's on holiday weekends and the Ugly Mug in Cape May, when the DJ would get a raucous crowd going.

And anybody whose ever been to a Boston Red Sox game in Fenway Park knows, "Sweet Caroline" is the eighth inning lucky theme song like "God Bless America" was for the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectum.

Here's a story on how that particular song became a crowd favorite:

But the one thing that now stands corrected came out of Boston in "Sweet Caroline" revealed, by Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan, Boston Globe, November 21, 2007.

"That Neil Diamond ditty they play during the eghth inning at Fenway Park? Turns out it's about JFK's daughter. Breaking years of silence on the subject, Neil Diamond has revealed that Caroline Kennedy was the secret inspiration for 'Sweet Caroline,' the 1969 smash hit that's played at every Red Sox game."

The thing I don't get is he lyrics, and how they relate to Caroline Kennedy. Can anyone explain it to me?
Certainly Caroline Kennedy was an inspirational child we watched grow up into an exceptional role model, carrying herself with dignity and class, but I just don't get the song.
This of course, gives me the opportunity to compile a list of songs related to the Kennedys.
Let me take invintory and get back to you on this.

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