(Michael Dwyer / Associated Press / April 20, 2013)
After the Boston bombing had affected everybody in the city as well as the surrounding towns, Neil Diamond knew that he had to do something to bring up the citizens spirits after such a horrific event. Diamond got on a plane and flew to Boston to surprise everyone at that Saturday’s Boston Red Sox game with only a 40-minute heads up.
The Red Sox had adopted the musicians hit song, “Sweet Caroline” as an eighth-inning anthem some time ago and had invited him to perform it live once before, and finally the singer accepted. The bombings happened that Monday, by Friday the lone surviving bomber was caught and on that Saturday, when the eight-inning stretch arrived, as did Diamond to perform the song live instead of the usual pre-recorded version.
When he arrived home after that experience, Diamond went straight to work on a brand new song, dedicated to the city that would eventually become the charity song, “The Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down).” “I was moved by the unity and the attitude of the people in Boston,” Diamond said. “And that’s really all a songwriter needs, is to be inspired. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you have to follow that muse and I did.”
“Freedom” is currently scheduled to be released on July 2 through iTunes and Amazon on July 2 and proceeds from the song will go to benefit the Boston One Fund and The Wounded Warriors Project.
The singer will then go on to perform the song live on July 4, in Washington, D.C., at a Washington Nationals vs Milwaukee Brewers baseball game and during PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth” that will be broadcast from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
“I didn’t know exactly what would happen with this song, but I did know I had to write it,” Diamond said when asked about his new song. “So I set out on that creative journey of writing something that would lift people up, lift their spirits in the way that mine was lifted when I flew to Boston to sing at the Red Sox game.”