Music Monday: A Tribute to Songs About Caroline (with no link to a video of Sweet Caroline!)

I was reading one of my favorite blogs earlier today – Nashville Noise – and there was a story about singer-songwriter Will Payne Harrison.

According to a previous story about Harrison in Nashville Noise, he’s “got a diverse musical background that includes traditional cajun music, Louisiana blues, New Orleans brass bands, “swamp pop” and Zydeco. He’s a melting pot of musical influences, all of which can be heard in his personal unique blend. If you’re a fan of singer-songwriters with an Americana or roots sound, you’ll be a fast fan of Harrison.”

Anyway, the story I was reading today was about Harrison’s cover of the song Caroline, by The Rayo Brothers. I went to check the original, and it is a wonderful song:

After listening, I started to think about how many songs are about a woman named Caroline.

I think the most obvious one is Sweet Caroline, by Neil Diamond. It’s one of the all-time classics.

Another one that immediately came to mind, and perhaps not as well known to many people, is Caroline by The Clarks. I wrote a post three years ago about how I was lucky enough to attend a house concert featuring The Clarks, and here is a short clip of them performing the song:

If you want to see them doing the song in concert 20 years prior to that, here you go:

Two very different versions, but both great.

Then I started wondering if there were other songs featuring Caroline, and thanks to Ranker, I came across a list of 41 songs about Caroline. A few of them are repeats. For example, there are four versions of Sweet Caroline. Besides Neil Diamond, there are versions by Frank Sinatra, Waylon Jennings, and Roy Orbison, none of which I had ever heard before. There were also songs about Caroline featuring Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, and the Beach Boys. Again, none of those ring a bell.

But then, as often happens, my mind started wandering again, and I was curious about what the most popular woman’s name in songs might be. Surely Caroline would be one of the more popular ones. Fortunately, the web had an answer (I don’t think it is too scientific, but I’m going with it).

According to Ultimate Guitar, here are the top five:

  • Mary (not a surprise, that’s what I would have guessed. And fun fact, at least according to one of the comments, is that Bruce Springsteen alone has more than 10 songs featuring Mary. The best, of course, is Thunder Road).
  • Susan
  • Alice
  • Jennifer (I see this name and I think 867-5309)
  • Angela

The names also include variations, like Marie or Susie. Sadly, as you can see, no Caroline…

One final thought is that this post highlights to me why I love the world wide web.

Starting with a post about an up and coming singer-songwriter from Nashville, it led me to relive a wonderful house concert, which led me to find out the most popular woman’s name in music, which ultimately led me to create this post.

Thank you, Tim Berners-Lee!

*image from Flaming Text

 

101 thoughts on “Music Monday: A Tribute to Songs About Caroline (with no link to a video of Sweet Caroline!)

  1. One of my favorite jokes is I still know Jenny’s phone number (867-5309), but I have yet to memorize my cell number. There is nothing quite so dumb as when someone asks you for your number, and you have to look it up. 🤣 Maybe Pete Springer needs to write a hit song. 😂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Do you really want the whole world knowing your phone number though?

      My son has told me that when he has gone to a grocery store in a different city and asked to type in his phone number for the rewards card, he has used Jenny’s number many times, and it has always worked… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I appreciate your son’s sense of humor. A chip off the old block, I presume. (That’s one of those compliments that were not sure what to make of. Everyone likes to be funny—it’s just that old part keeps getting in the way.) 😁

        Like

      2. I also appreciate the humor of the people who set up their reward card with that phone number! I may have to try it sometime – hopefully it’s not already taken…

        And yes, my son does have a good sense of humor. Fortunately, his looks come from his mom…

        and that block is getting older by the minute…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Concrete Blonde had a song called Caroline on Bloodletting. A good song but not as good as Joey, also on that album.

    The Clark’s are the reason I occasionally use the phrase “close your eyes and think of England” as advice to friends to do something they really don’t want to do.

    It’s actually a pretty dark phrase.

    https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/close-your-eyes-and-think-of-england.html

    But anyway while we are on the topic of Pittsburgh bands and names, Brownie Mary deserves an honorable mention. While not having a song named after anybody, did have Mary in their name and made some good records in their day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had seen the Caroline song by Concrete Blonde on the list by Ranker, but I had never heard of the band. Just listened to Joey- good stuff!

      I was also not familiar with the song or phrase Think of England – I might have to try it next time I go to the dentist!

      And I’ll have to check out Brownie Mary; I am partial to Pittsburgh, having lived there for two years at the end of the 70s, early 80s.

      thanks for all the good info!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love Pittsburgh. Wonderful city.

        Brownie Mary was around in the 90s. I feel like they nailed the spirit and sound of 90s rock. They broke up around 02 then recently put out a 5 song album, which was cool to hear but I have a feeling that’s it for a while.

        Here’s an unreleased song they did live on YouTube.

        Like

  3. I immediately thought of Sweet Caroline and it brought back a funny story from the 80s. My boss had tickets for a Neil Diamond concert. The day of he found out he couldn’t go and offered them to me. Even though I wasn’t a big fan, Diamond had a lot of hits that I knew. The concert was in Market Square Arena in Indy. The concert was really good, but of the 16 -18,000 in attendance, it looked like I was the only Black person. 🤣 I’m used to being in the minority in many situations but that was weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I applaud you for a wonderfully entertaining post without ever choosing to take the easy path and post a version of “Sweet Caroline”. Now that is writing! I may have guessed one or two names from the list of top female song names, but a couple surprised me. It is amazing where we can end up when our curiosity meets the internet. Thanks for taking us along on the trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A great post, Jim. I’m grateful for the introductions to Will, the Clarks and the Rayo Brothers: I’ll be seeking out more of them.

    Two comments from a British perspective. For us, no list of Caroline songs would be complete without the one by Status Quo – check it out and try not to headbang yourself senseless!

    As for the Neil Diamond one, it has become the traditional community singing piece of our T20 cricket finals day, led by David Lloyd, an ex-player and now a commentator. He’s bonkers but a lot of fun. Here’s a taste of something we won’t be having this year: https://youtu.be/iP-QJJY0Pdg

    Like

    1. It’s nice to know that Sweet Caroline has crossed the pond and is played at sporting events there as well. It’s quite popular at a variety of U.S. events as well. That was fun watching the video you sent. Are cricket fans as crazy as soccer fans?
      and the Caroline song by Status Quo was number 6 on the Ranker list. Just listened to it – that’ll get you going!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a huge hit here when it first came out. David Lloyd (known to us all as Bumble) started singing it one time on commentary and they got him to lead the crowd singing it. The T20 finals day can get pretty lively: it starts around 10.30am and includes 3 games, going on till around 9pm, and alcohol is available 😉

        It’s hard to keep still when Status Quo are on, isn’t it…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ‘Noisy’ is probably the kindest word for it!

        Been a Quo fan for longer than I’d care to remember. They’ve sold masses of singles and albums here and all around the world – except the US!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well remembered. It’s odd how some bands have mass appeal both here and there but others don’t. No accounting for taste, I guess, and I doubt even the most erudite industry insiders could explain it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Probably more of an issue for bands from here who don’t break big in the States than vice versa. Mind you, the Quo don’t seem to have done too badly without American help – just the 120m sales so far 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Their most recent release was last year but I’d imagine it might be their last. One of the two long time members, Rick Parfitt, died a couple of years ago and the other, Francis Rossi, has been quoted as saying it is hard to continue without his best friend of 50+ years. I’ve not seen anything from them in lockdown but I’ll take a look – they’d probably break the local generators if they did!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. A quick update: no Quo videos during lockdown, but I realised that John Fogerty used to cover one of their songs, Rocking All Over The World, in his live shows. It’s on a couple of his live albums too. It has a special place for me: one of my teams, Leyton Orient, play the song at the end of home games when we’ve won. Not for draws or defeats though 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Hardly a surprise that I like both, is it?

        I don’t go any more – had to give up my season ticket when health stopped me going. But I share that hope for the song! The team’s ‘walk on’ music is Tijuana Taxi – don’t ask why, I’ve no idea!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh gosh, I knew there would be trouble from you with this post!
      Let me clear your obvious confusion! My name is Carolyn! And I have pointed out many times how obviously the song would make more sense if “Sweet Carolyn!” 🙂
      Neil Diamond can get away with calling me Caroline but you aren’t him! 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I love the songs here and I can practically here “sweet caroline” just by reading it haha 😀 how nostalgic… my father always wanted to dance with my mother to that song and 3 year old me who have no idea about romance yet keeps giggling ….

    Like

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