Why do England fans sing Sweet Caroline? Song lyrics and how it became Three Lions anthem at Euro 2020

England fans will be roaring their side on in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and Neil Diamond’s classic will be among the supporter songs of choice.

With its rousing feel-good melody, the bridge to chorus transition invites you to stand up, join in and embrace the ‘good times never seemed so good’ feeling that comes with winning a match.

So passionately have the English adopted the tune that in the week of the Euro 2020 final, Sweet Caroline re-entered the UK singles chart at number 48 before rising again to 20th place the following week.

In July this year, England match-winner Chloe Kelly abandoned her pitchside interview following the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 final win to join her team-mates and fans in a rendition of Sweet Caroline.

This winter, fans of the Three Lions will come together again to sing Diamond’s classic tune - but where does it come from?

Why do England fans sing Sweet Caroline?

Sweet Caroline’s status as a sports anthem supposedly originates from the Boston Red Sox.

At the team’s home ground, the Fenway Stadium, the venue DJ played the song during a game in 1997 to commemorate the birth of a friend’s child, who had been named Caroline.

The song became a good luck charm which became a regular fixture at Sox games and, before long, other teams began adopting the song.

Castleford Tigers, Aston Villa and Arsenal are said to have been early UK adopters of the song, before it became an anthem for the national teams. Boxing and cricket fans are also known to belt out the 1969 hit.

Who wrote Sweet Caroline?

The song was first released in 1969 by Neil Diamond under its full title ‘Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)’.

American singer-songwriter Diamond wrote the song about his then-wife Marcia, but took inspiration from JF Kennedy’s daughter Caroline for the title name - as he needed three syllables to fit the melody.

What are the lyrics to Sweet Caroline?

The song lyrics to Sweet Caroline are as follows:

“Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing. But then I know it’s growing strong. Was in the spring. And spring became the summer.

“Who’d have believed you’d come along. Hands, touching hands. Reaching out, touching me, touching you. Sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good. I’ve been inclined, to believe they never would.

“But now I look at the night and it don’t seem so lonely. We filled it up with only two. And when I hurt. Hurting runs off my shoulders.

“How can I hurt when holding you. One, touching one. Reaching out, touching me, touching you. Sweet Caroline. Good times never seemed so good. I’ve been inclined. To believe they never would.

“Oh no, no. Sweet Caroline Good times never seemed so good. Sweet Caroline. I believe they never could. Sweet Caroline. Good times never seemed so good.”

Who are England facing at the World Cup?

Gareth’s Southgate side get their tournament underway on Monday 21 November, with their group opener against Iran.

They’ll then have a three day break before returning to action against the USA on Friday 25 November, and will round off their run of matches against rivals Wales on Tuesday 29 November.