The Real Reason This Bar Banned 'Sweet Caroline'

"Sweet Caroline, oh, oh, oh, good times never seemed so good..." Admit it. You've been singing along (mentally, at least) ever since you read the title. You know you secretly love it — unless, of course, you're a New York Yankees fan and you've sworn a vow to shun this song that will forever be associated with Fenway Park (23 years and counting, according to Okay, so maybe not everybody loves it, since it does tend to be a wee bit overplayed, at least during baseball season. The Red Sox are hardly the only team to adopt the anthem — by now, you're likely to hear it even at your 6-year-old's T-ball tournament. Still, you've got to admit the singalong makes for a cheesy good time, what with all the hand waving, fist-pumping, swaying back and forth, "reaching out, touching me, touching you..."

Whoa! Back up there! About 6 feet back, to be specific. Don't you know we've got a pandemic going on here? And this is precisely the reason why a bar in Spain has now banned this classic anthem.

The Spanish bar that said 'oh, oh, no'

Murphy's Irish Bar in Corralejo, Spain is a pub that seems to appeal to ex-pats and sports fans, according to their Facebook page. As with any other establishment where people become slightly intoxicated and sentimental late in the evening, "Sweet Caroline" was a crowd favorite sing-along. 

Well, that is a thing of the past, at least for now. The establishment owner realized that all that loud, drunken singing was a great way to spread COVID-19, what with incautiously-expelled droplets of germ-laden moisture being released into the open air. Not to mention, all that dangerous "reaching out" stuff. In response, the Irish Post reports, she not only pulled "Sweet Caroline" from her bar's playlist but posted a sign explaining why: "There will be no: Touching hands. Reaching out. Touching me. Touching you."

Bummer, huh? But yeah... without full-body hazmat suits, it's probably for the best. Even Neil Diamond gets it, releasing a "Sweet Caroline" parody back in March with the lyrics changed to, "Hands, washing hands, reaching out, don't touch me, I won't touch you!" (One YouTube commenter pointed out that Diamond really should have called the reboot "Sweet Quarantine.") No word on whether bar owners and sports teams have started playing this version instead, but it would be wicked awesome, assuming baseball stadiums ever open up again, to see socially-distanced fans going through a new set of motions (rub hands together, push away) while singing from behind their masks.