I'm not an addict, baby, that's a lie

You know, as much as I talk about Neil Diamond, I'm not really a Neil Diamond Fan. I mean, sure, I own three Neil Diamond CDs, but I'm not one of those Neil Diamond fans... I like Neil Diamond in an ironic/humorous sort of way, and people who like him for real scare me quite a bit.

The first musical artist whose albums I actively collected was Weird Al Yankovic. The second was They Might Be Giants. Then I was introduced to The Neil by Dave Barry. That should tell you something right there. Dave says of Mr Diamond's excellent I Am, I Said (I am, I said/ To no one there/ And no one heard at all/ Not even the chair):

What kind of line is that? Is Neil telling us that he's surprised that the chair didn't hear him? Maybe he expected the chair to say, "Whoa, I heard THAT." My guess is that Neil was really desperate to come up with something to rhyme with "there," and he had already rejected "So I ate a pear," "Like Smokey the Bear," and "There were nits in my hair."

This is the attitude that has shaped my relationship with The Neil to this day. I've also listened to a lot of Neil myself and formed my own opinion, namely: Neil Diamond is a crazy, dirty old man.

A few examples:

"Girl, you'll be a woman soon/ Soon you'll need a man" (Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon)

"Bring home my name/ On the wings of a flea" (Soolaimon)

"Captain Sunshine/ Make me drink wine/ Make me feel fine/ When I'm feelin' wrongly down" (Captain Sunshine - a song made even better by the fact that it has steel drums in it)

"Tried my brand" (although I will always hear it as a very demandingly growled "TRY MY BRAN!") (Crunchy Granola Suite - which is ostensibly about cereal products, with a clever subtext about growing your own pot)

"He would not encumber me/ He ain't heavy, he's my brother" (He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother)

"Turn on your heartlight/ In the middle of a young boy's dream" (Heartlight - I can't help thinking Eeeeeeeeee Teeeeeeeee... phooooooone hooooooome)

"Ride, come on baby, ride/ Let me make your dreams come true/ I'll sing my song/ Let me sing my song/ Let me make it warm for you" (Longfellow Serenade)

"Did you ever read about a frog/ Who dreamed of bein' a king/ And then became one/ Well except for the names/ And a few other changes/ If you talk about me/ The story's the same one" (I Am.. I Said)

"Look at what you've done/ Why, you've become a grown-up girl/ I still can hear you crying/ In a corner of your room/ And look how far we've come/ So far from where we used to be/ But not so far that we've forgotten/ How it was before" (September Morn - to me, this sounds like a child abuser returning to the scene of the crime)

So, yeah. Don't go getting the wrong idea about me and thinking that I'm someone who manages to work Neil Diamond quotes into her blog or real-life conversations every single day or anything. Because that's so not me.

srah - Wednesday, 6 August 2003 - 8:23 AM
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Comments (8)

gravatar Greg - August 6, 2003 - 10:31 AM -

Okay, first of all, there's nothing wrong with being a dirty old man. Second, I think the Hollies did the "Brother" song first; Diamond just covered it. Third, you're sick for that carnal reading of "Heartlight," although no doubt also very accurate.

gravatar katie - August 6, 2003 - 11:03 AM -

Funny... I read your blog with the same attitude. You mean you aren't the dirty old man in this picture??

gravatar Justin - August 6, 2003 - 2:32 PM -

I'm more of a fan of The Other Neil. Neil Young, that is. He's also a crazy, dirty old man, although he's dirty in different ways. Like, literally dirty. I don't think he's showered since Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were still together.

gravatar beth - August 6, 2003 - 5:24 PM -

And let's not forget that Neil wrote all the Monkees songs.... Think about it... Listen to them in your head....

gravatar srah - August 7, 2003 - 12:16 AM -

I would just like to point out that I said the words "Neil Diamond" five times in the first paragraph. I hope I start getting search requests for Neil Diamond naked or something like that, because nothing starts your day like a good session of copious vomiting.

gravatar Cheryl - August 7, 2003 - 11:58 AM -

DON'T LISTEN TO HER! She DOES always talk about Neil Diamon! She sends me webpages daily!

gravatar Somewhat - August 8, 2003 - 2:26 AM -

I want you to know that I now have 'I Am, I Said' stuck in my head. What's even more terrible is the fact that I think I rather like it... WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!!!

gravatar Bridget - August 8, 2003 - 7:11 AM -

I always think the same thing with HEARTLIGHT (ET, Phone Home). In fact, I told my brothers and sister that HEARTLIGHT was originally in the movie as background music for the bike scene, but was then cut out LOL.

I believe ND wrote "He ain't heavy. . ." BTW - and I love ND's clever lyrics, too. Except for that one song about how he was young and got a 40-something lover and lost his virginity. EEEeewwww.

Like him lots, don't want to picture him naked.

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