A Bar Banned The Song ‘Sweet Caroline’ To Help Patrons Avoid Touching One Another While Singing

Restaurants and bars have been adjusting their services for the safety of their customers in more ways than one, but this might be the most obscure adjustment yet. An Irish pub in Spain is banning the classic singalong song “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond to keep its patrons safer.
The song has long been a go-to at parties and gatherings, but some of its lyrics have not aged well given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chorus that was once belted out freely now takes on a new meaning with lyrics: “Hands, touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you.”
Now, Murphy’s Irish Bar in Carralejo, Spain, is banning the song. A photo posted by the pub’s owner Linda Carroll showed the sign explaining the decision: “Due to COVID-19 ‘Sweet Caroline’ is banned. There will be no: touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you.”
The song didn’t just get banned for the lyrics, but also because of the singalong nature it evokes in crowded bars. In a report by The New York Post, many bar owners said that “Sweet Caroline” usually leads to patrons putting their arms around each other, touching hands with one another, and screaming out the song. Large crowds singing could lead to more respiratory droplets in the air of the establishment. TL;DR: Respiratory droplets are one of the ways COVID-19 can be spread.
Although removing this classic bar ballad might be a bummer to some, if it leads to less person-to-person contact, the decision makes sense. Thankfully, singer Neil Diamond released a modified version of the song on YouTube back in March to reflect the times with a chorus that goes “Hands, washing hands, reaching out, don’t touch me, I won’t touch you.”

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