Fans heading to see the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers today at Nationals Park are in for more than just baseball, ballpark hot dogs and some early afternoon fireworks: They'll get to see Neil Diamond, live in the flesh, perform for the first time his new single "Freedom Song (They'll Never Take Us Down.)"
Diamond, who helped start some of the healing in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing by singing "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway Park a couple days after the tragedy, started composing the song soon thereafter and released it on Tuesday on iTunes, Amazon and Columbia Records.
We wish him all the best. Song debuts can be a tricky business, because no one knows to sing along yet. But Diamond has so much good will built up over his decades in show business and from his awesomeness at Boston that everyone will likely be there for him. Plus, all the proceeds go to One Fund Boston and the Wounded Warrior Project. He'll also perform the song, and others from his playlist -- at the Capitol Fourth show later tonight on the West Front of the Capitol. First pitch at Nationals Park is at 11:05 a.m.
In the meantime, we can all settle in on this July Fourth with a rendition from his 1980s anthem, "America," with the following video taken from the film "The Jazz Singer." Be sure to look for Laurence Olivier in the audience.