30-Day Song Challenge Day 12

Today on the 30-day song challenge I have to pick a song from my preteen years.

My preteen years were filled with awkwardness, embarrasment, blusing faces and a crippling shyness. Things were so bad that words such as ‘girl’, ‘toilet’ and ‘hello’ would result in instant death.

My preeteen years are also filled with songs that in hindsight, and I’m using the musical technical term here, are ‘shit’. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and I am learning to live with it every day. But in the days before I would go to into WH Smiths in Wrexham Town to purchase pieces of shit disguised as vinyl there was one album that I heard a lot of. I heard it a LOT.

On this album was one song that really stood out. The album is The Jazz Singer by Neil Diamond. The track I am chooing is the opening song for that album, ‘America’ and I don’t care what anyone thinks.

On The Boats And On The Planes

I must have been around nine years old and my dad and step-mother would play the album on Friday nights. It was their ‘it’s-Friday-night-and-we-are-letting-our-goddamn-hair-down-and-theirs-nothing-anyone-can-do-to-stop-us’ record. So every Friday evening after I’d had my dinner which would usually consist of baked beans cook with some other poor, random piece of food with low nutritional value (it was the early 1980s, it was ok to give your kids shit food), I would hear the first few songs on the album before being sent upstairs for some quality ‘alone time’.

Free, Only Want To Be Free

Now, it may be ‘cool’ of me to say that I don’t like this song anymore as I’m such a cool kid with amazing taste but I’m not going to. America by Neil Diamond is a bona fida classic. It is simply a great track. When I first heard it I had no clue that the lyrics were about the history of immigration into the United States. At nine years old it was just a man singing about going to America.

I’ve never been to America but when I do I will probably play this song at full volume on a loop for the entire flight.

As with all of these posts on the 30-day challenge I’ve posted a video of the song. Tthe only decent one is from the actual film that it was part of, The Jazz Singer. The movie stared Neil Diamond and Laurence Olivier as his dad. It was panned on release and currently has a score of 37% on Rotten Tomatoes. For his part in the moviee, Diamond holds the distinction of being crowned as ‘worst actor’ in the very first Golden Raspberry Awards. It’s safe to say, I will just be sticking to listening to the soundtrack.

Despite the films failure the soundtrack is Diamond’s best selling album, selling over 5 million copies. Therefore my dad helped Diamond achive success. Sadly, he’s never had a ‘thank you’ from Diamond but he bares him no grudge.

I’ve started a Spotify compilation of my song challenge so hop on over there –


Thanks for reading and if you’d like more then click the subscribe button and let’s get to hang out more. You can also find out what other tracks have made the listing by going backwards – 30-DAY SONG CHALLENGE DAY SIX

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Rivergirl says:

    It’s clear you don’t care what anyone thinks. Neil Diamond? I’m getting a better picture of just how awkward your teenage years were…..

  2. Neil Diamond – yes! Not something I would OWN, mind you, but when it comes on the radio, you just gotta smile.

    1. It’s a real sing-a-long 🔥

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