“Holly Holy” by Neil Diamond
“Holly Holy” is one of the most loved songs by renowned American singer and writer Neil Diamond. But truth be told, the lyrics aren’t the easiest to decipher.
That said, it is beyond clear that both lyrics and music are heavily inspired by Christian music. And the choir’s presence throughout the song makes the gospel music influence upon it even more pronounced. Furthermore, the whole song is filled to the brim with a very potent spiritual atmosphere.
Many reviewers have described this song as one in which you just don’t listen to. According to them, you’d be doing great injustice to it by only just listening to it. You need to feel it within your soul too! We can’t help but agree with them there.
To be honest, this piece is the type that has the capability of convincing even a non-believer of the existence of a spiritual realm somewhere. Such is the sheer power nestled within every atom of “Holly Holly”.
Neil Diamond sheds light on the meaning of “Holly Holy”
Like we stated above, the lyrics of this song are so challenging to decipher. Apparently, not even Neil himself could give a thorough explanation what they mean. And this is despite the fact that he composed this song himself.
In one interview we stumbled upon, Neil referred to this song as being about a powerful “religious experience”. However, he said it isn’t the kind of religious experience between “man and God”. Rather it is one designed to be between a man and the woman he loves.
Owing to Neil’s explanation, we can consider this song a love song. But tagging it merely as a love song alone really doesn’t do justice to it. It is a deeply touching spiritual song. It’s spiritual energy can be said to be comparable to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.
October the 13th, 1969 was the day Neil released this masterpiece. It was initially released as a non-album single. However, Neil later added it to the tracklist of his “Touching You, Touching Me” album of 1969. The song also made it onto his Greatest Hits album of 1992.
“Holly Holy” is one of Diamond’s most critically and commercially successful songs. For example, it succeeded in giving Diamond a top-10 hit in not only the United States but the following countries as well:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
At the end of the day, this masterpiece went on to receive platinum certification in America.
Over half a century after the song’s release, it experienced a renewed popularity in 2021. This came about after it was featured in Netflix’s 2021 hit miniseries titled “Midnight Mass”.
Just to note, there is another popular Neil Diamond song titled “Soolaimon (African Trilogy II)” that also made a prominent appearance in the aforementioned series.