An Irish pub in Spain has banned Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” during the pandemic because drunk people are so likely to sing along that the song spreads too many droplets.
Murphy’s Irish Bar decided to ban the song as part of a greater effort to help stop the spread of coronavirus across the region.
Last month, the World Health Organization announced there was evidence Covid-19 might be spreading by tiny particles of moisture capable of hanging in the air in enclosed or unventilated spaces.
Most people expel these droplets through sneezing, coughing, talking, and breathing, however, singing has also been linked to the spread of COVID-19.
There is a school of thought that says that singing not only expels droplets and aerosols from the mouth and nose but also expels a greater quantity of droplets, due to the volume of the human voice tending to be louder when singing.
The song’s coronavirus connection wasn’t missed by the 79-year-old musical great himself, either. In March, Diamond released a rendition of the tune with a COVID-19 bent.
“Hands . . . Washing hands . . . Reaching out . . . Don’t touch me, I won’t touch you,” he sings in the YouTube clip that’s garnered more than 3.5 million views.
Sweet Caroline was first released in 1969 by Neil Diamond and said to have been inspired by the daughter of US President John F. Kennedy, the song is a favourite of pub sing-alongs, karaoke or otherwise.
With lyrics like “touching you, touching me” it’s probably best the song doesn’t get an airing in the bold era of the “new normal” either.