It’s not unusual for a songwriter to weave a story into their lyrics, but rarely do we get a glimpse of one as personal as this story that Neil Diamond tells about his grandmother in his smash hit, “America.”
According to Neil, his grandmother boarded a train in Kiev, Russia, headed for Rotterdam, Holland, where she “boarded a ship to make the great voyage to freedom in a place called: America.” And his grandmother, as well as her daughter Rose, inspired him to achieve everything that he has, according to Neil.
Then he dedicates his performance of the song to her, and what a performance it is. He has the whole audience at Los Angeles’s Greek Theatre on its feet, dancing to his song of freedom and the wonder that was–and still is–America.
Sadly Neil has retired now due to the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Needless to say, we all know music is still alive and well within him. Maybe the performance will sweep you off on a musical journey.
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