‘Hands washing hands’: Neil Diamond sings new ‘Don’t Touch Me’ PSA version of Sweet Caroline on YouTube

Singer Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond sings a new version of his hit song Sweet Caroline in which he references hand washing and social distancing. Pic credit: Neil Diamond/YouTube

Singer Neil Diamond uploaded a video in which he sings a new version of his 1969 song Sweet Caroline. In the fresh take, the hit tune was partially changed to reference handwashing and social distancing, two measures health authorities recommend as ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection.

The 79-year-old singer and songwriter, who is among the bestselling artists of all time, created the new version of Sweet Caroline while in isolation at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Neil Diamond shared his new version of Sweet Caroline on social media

Neil Diamond, who uploaded the video to his Twitter page and his YouTube channel, also took to Instagram on Sunday to share a video of the new PSA version of the song. In the clip, the hitmaker sang to the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar.

“Stay safe out there!” he captioned the video he posted on his Instagram:


The video begins with a close-up of Diamond’s golden retriever before the camera pans to the singer sitting inside his home in front of a blazing fire. In the clip, the hitmaker tells his fans he knows everyone has been struggling during this uncertain time, so he decided to spread cheer with a song.

“…I know we’re going through a rough time right now but I love you, and I think maybe if we sing together, well, we’ll just feel a little bit better. Give it a try, Okay.”

Then, the veteran performer begins to offer Sweet Caroline’s familiar lyrics.

Then, in the pre-chorus, Diamond’s new version emerged.

In place of the original version of Sweet Caroline when he typically sang, “Hands, touchin’ hands/Reachin’ out, touchin’ me, touchin’ you,” Diamond introduced a situation-appropriate alternative. Prior to singing the unchanged chorus, he belted out.

“Hands, washing hands/Reaching out, Don’t touch me, I won’t touch you.”

Reactions on social media and YouTube

Fans reacted positively to Neil Diamond’s contribution as part of ongoing efforts to end the spread of coronavirus.

As of writing, the video received more than 36,000 views on Instagram, nearly 600,000 views on YouTube, and more than 124,000 likes on Twitter.

Diamond’s clever endeavor to help stop the coronavirus pandemic comes after singer Rihanna donated $5 million to coronavirus relief through her Clara Lionel Foundation.

Strict hygiene and social distancing help stop COVID-19 spread

The CDC recommends specific hygiene and social distancing measures to thwart the coronavirus pandemic, including the following:

Stay home, cover your cough, sneeze into a tissue, avoid sick people, and limit contact with other people.

If you must meet with others, make sure you stand at least six feet apart. You should avoid touching another person.

The CDC guidelines also recommend the frequent cleaning of surfaces people frequently touch, including tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles.

In addition, everyone should use hand sanitizers after touching surfaces and objects that could be infected.

The CDC also recommends frequent and vigorous hand washing using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

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