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The crowd sings along to "Sweet Caroline" as a tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions before the bottom of the eighth inning of a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Miami. The song by Neil Diamond has been a longtime fixture as a fan sing-along during the bottom of the eighth inning of Boston Red Sox games. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Copyright 2013, The Associated Press

Diamond happy 'Caroline' offers comfort

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Neil Diamond said he's happy his "Sweet Caroline," a staple of Boston Red Sox games, can provide comfort after the Boston Marathon bombing.

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The New York Yankees, Toronto Raptors and other professional sports teams have played the song at games in the days after Monday's deadly blasts, with fans and players often singing along.

"There is a lot of comfort that music can offer," Diamond told The Associated Press. "In this particular situation, I'd much rather it not have happened than for 'Sweet Caroline' to become part of it. But it's obviously offering comfort to people and I feel good about that."

Diamond spoke Thursday night at the Rock and Roll Hall induction ceremony. He said he intended the song, first released in 1969 and addressed to Caroline Kennedy, to offer solace.

"I wrote it in a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee," he said. "And I think there's a little bit of God in that song. I always have felt that. There's no accounting for what can happen to a song. But this one had something special to it."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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