Touching me, touching you

You are a filthy paedophile.

You must be – why else would you be singing gaily along with every litre of lung capacity to a song about the delights of an 11-year-old girl? You’re doing an awful lot of ‘touching’ of a pre-pubescent teen – ‘reaching out, touching me, touching you’. Bill Wyman shakes his head in disapproval and Tom O’Carroll senses his time has come at last.

But it’s fine. You carry on parading your nasty sexual perversions in front of thousands of sports fans, each of whom is merrily doing the same in some kind of bacchanalian wankathon in a concrete bowl. I’ll slip out muttering that you’re all twisted ghouls and somehow making myself the killjoy in the process.

Because I really, really fucking hate Sweet Caroline. And apparently I’m completely alone.

Caroline Kennedy was a hair-free 11 when Neil Diamond wrote his malodorous melody about her. His other hits include Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Done Too Soon, so I think we know the type of mast you’re nailing your colours to here. He also sang Lady—oh; as a shocked Neil finds things aren’t as expected when he turns the light on, you can hear in his voice both innocent surprise and a nascent defence for when the magistrates come calling.

But even if you disagree that Sweet Caroline is a song about the merits of cocking a child, sweet Jesus it’s still appalling. I open the prosecution with the fact that it’s Neil fucking Diamond and the state is sorely tempted to rest there. The non-paedo lyrics are trite, the tune is something Liam Gallagher wouldn’t put on a B-side and there’s bloody trumpets in the chorus. For Christ’s sake, we need music with bollocks at times like these. ‘Good times never seemed so good’? Let’s build a wall around a no-deal Brexit!

It’s now played with depressing regularity at sporting events across the land. The other week I was trying to enjoy the misery of Liverpool supporters freshly dispatched from the FA Cup but even the hideous Scouse whine was drowned out by the horrors of Diamond and his hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you. It’s surely now played at every football ground in Britain. I’ve even heard it at cricket, as that sport burrows ever deeper away from its proud traditions towards crowd-maximising avarice. The only place it actually fits is rugby, where it sits snugly alongside dickheads baying Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and Soggy Biscuit by ‘Poon Up!’

Oh, and the darts, obviously.

The song holds an clear attraction to a certain type of sports fan. As the chorus kicks in with the words ‘Sweet Caroline’, you, yes you, find yourself singing ‘OH OH OH’. Why are you doing that? Is it in the song? Find me Neil Diamond’s version of the song that includes anyone singing OH OH OH and send it to me, so I know who to block from all recognised communication channels.

This bovine incantation of sound, beloved of the type of cretinous oaf also drawn to large sporting events, is the reason this shit perforates my ears so often. OH OH OH. It’s the same farmyard mentality that means when Davy Jones gently sings the line ‘I thought love was only true in fairy tales’, you, yes you, decide to stamp your foot and shout ‘OI!’ OH OH OH. OI. OH OH OH.

Not only noises but extra lyrics are thrown in: after ‘Good times never seemed so good,’ the crowd intones ‘So good, so good, so good’ with a look in their eyes like the Thuggees in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. I hardly feel the urge to protect the lyrical integrity of Neil Diamond records but if it’s a bloody free-for-all now let’s see how you like it when I scream ‘HE’S A EUNUCH’ in the middle of the chorus of every Ed Sheeran song I ever have to hear.

When was this diabolical record freed from its well-deserved wedding-based captivity? It’s long been kept confined among the idiots who enjoy a good British marriage, who plop out this shitty ditty and mindlessly moo along before topping it off with a Come on Eileen before the fights break out. The bride’s called Claire and we’ll have a hilarious time trying to change it to ‘Sweet C-l-aire’ but nothing whatsoever will change our OH OH OH. So good, so good, so good.

It’s only going to get worse. It’ll be played at political rallies where increasingly hateful demagogues appeal to their bestial base; it was probably played at Trump’s inauguration and if you claim it wasn’t I’m calling fake news. It’ll be played over the heads of rioting crowds to calm them into the belief that good times have never felt so good, never mind that the food bank’s just run out of recycled spam. It’ll eventually be played wherever there’s success of any kind, such as when you beat a man to death in a post-Brexit cage match to decide who gets to shout through the glass at Donald Tusk this week in a world where Chris Grayling somehow remains Transport Secretary.

Spare a thought for any poor woman called Caroline who plans to have any kind of life in the public eye from this point on. OH OH OH I hate it and anyone who howls along with it.

The real Caroline is 61 now, you filthy gerontophile. Can’t we just let the old bat rest in peace?

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