“Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond

On “Cracklin’ Rosie”, Neil Diamond seemingly takes on the role of a character akin to a drifter. To note, there is both a “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Cracklin’ Rose” found in the lyrics. By and large, these terms are interchangeable. But it can also be taken, to some degree, the former more specifically refers to a brand of wine and the latter a woman who may be a prostitute, or something like that.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Neil Diamond's Cracklin' Rosie at Lyrics.org.

As the story goes Cracklin’ Rosie, the wine, is especially popular amongst a particular group of Canadian indigenes. Said group is such that the men outnumber the women. So as for the homeys who failed to luck out and find a lady, their custom is to get intoxicated on this beverage during the weekends as a substitute for romance. 

That practice is what the vocalist alludes to in the first verse when he expresses his own desire to partake of what he describes as “a poor man’s lady”.

Boozing appears to be part of his lifestyle as, once again, the singer comes off as sort of a hobo, bouncing around from here to three by “hitching on a twilight train” with nothing but the clothes on his back. And when he’s in the mood, he’ll sing a song to uplift himself. In singing, he takes pride in the notion that his musical skills are pleasing enough that he doesn’t need to rely on “no man” to do so for him.

The vocalist also derives a comparable degree of edification from, by the looks of things, patronizing the services of one Cracklin’ Ros(i)e. In fact it is that particular notion, i.e. the pleasure he derives from the time they are together, which the majority of the lyrics revolve around.


All things considered, if he does practice an itinerant modus operandi as theorized above, then he probably isn’t frequenting the same sex worker. And there are other holes that need to be filled via the listener’s own imagination as far as this narrative goes. 

So it may be for instance that “Cracklin’ Rosie” serves as a personification of the vocalist’s, i.e. the boozing in conjunction with the ladies of the night. Or another way of interpreting all of this, going back to the nature of the aforementioned tribe, is that maybe a lack of female presence compels the men therein to go out and look for “a store-bought woman”. And the narrator may be on the hunt for one this particular night, which is why he is moving about, as opposed to lacking a home per se.

Neil Diamond's "Cracklin' Rosie" Lyrics

When was “Cracklin’ Rosie” released?

This track is from “Tap Root Manuscript”, Neil Diamond’s first album of the 1970s, i.e. the decade that proved to be his professional heyday. More specifically, “Cracklin’ Rosie” was released during August of 1970. The song came out through Uni Records as one of the two singles from that project. The project’s other single is Neil’s cover of the Hollies’ iconic song “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother“.

Did this song chart?

This track topped the Billboard Hot 100, being Neil Diamond’s first song to do so. It also reached number one in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, in addition to peaking at third place on the UK Singles Chart. “Cracklin’ Rosie” holds the distinction of being Neil’s most successful song chart-wise across the pond.

Credits for “Cracklin’ Rosie”

Neil Diamond wrote and co-produced “Cracklin’ Rosie”. The other producer of this song, according to a number of sources is Tom Catalano.

Cracklin' Rosie

Neil Diamond’s “Tap Root Manuscript”

“Tap Root Manuscript” is an album by Neil Diamond, one of America’s all-time best selling artists. The album was released into the public domain on November 6 of 1970 as Diamond’s 6th studio album. It has a total runtime of 35 minutes and 35 seconds.

Diamond, being a record producer himself, joined hands with his long-time collaborator, Tom Catalano in producing the album. All 12 tracks on the album, excluding “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” were composed by Neil himself.

Universal Music Group’s Uni Records was responsible for the official release of “Tap Root Manuscript”.

Despite Uni Records’ skepticism on the album’s potential prior to its release, it turned out to be highly successful, commercially. It ended up receiving a platinum certification from the RIAA in the United States.  

1 Response

  1. Mauro says:

    Really interesting

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