Song of the Day #789: ‘Sweet Caroline’ – Mark Salling

Top Ten ‘Glee’ Performances
#3 – ‘Sweet Caroline’ – Puck

Today’s performance isn’t as emotional as the two that preceded it, but it’s one of my favorite clips from the whole first season of Glee.

Mostly that’s because it marked a turning point for the character of Puck, who started off as an obnoxious bully but morphed into one of the sweeter characters on the show (though still an obnoxious bully).

I also love this scene as a demonstration of how Glee advances plot and character through musical performances. A lot of things are going on during this song. Puck is wooing Rachel, and it’s working. That’s stirring jealous feelings in Finn and Santana. Quinn starts to see Puck (the father of her baby) in a new light. And Mr. Shu, along with the audience, discovers another great singer in Puck.

All in the course of a classic tune by a “musical Jewish icon.”

Watch the video

Where it began
I can’t begin to knowin’
But then I know it’s growin’ strong

Was in the spring
And spring became a summer
Who’d have believed you’d come along

Hands, touchin’ hands
Reachin’ out
Touchin’ me
Touchin’ you

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
But now I

Look at the night
And it don’t seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two
And when I hurt
Hurtin’ runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when holdin’ you

Warm, touchin’ warm
Reachin’ out
Touchin’ me
Touchin’ you

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
Oh,Lord, no

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
Sweet Caroline
I believed they never could
Sweet Caroline

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #789: ‘Sweet Caroline’ – Mark Salling

  1. Dana says:

    Another example of a schmaltzy song made better by Glee. As you are down to the top 3, I’m not sure this would rank so highly if I were to compile this list, but that’s why you have your list and I (don’t) have mine.:)

  2. Kerrie says:

    Applause, applause. 🙂
    I’m with Dana (again) about not really caring for the song outside of the context of Glee, but I am in agreement with you on every point you made, too. I think it’s a testament to the writers (and the actor), that they can make a character like Puck – the good-looking, football-playing, bad boy – also have a sweeter, softer side as he demonstrates here. He did it again in “Lady is a Tramp” (which I also LOVED!).

    I find it interesting that they use the music for Puck to showcase this sweetness when he’s wooing someone and the underlying motive isn’t really sweet at all – here with Rachel; “Lady is a Tramp” with Mercedes. The one place he was motive-free was singing “Beth” for Quinn. In any case, what’s nice is that it hits all the right notes (no pun intended) in showing who he really is.

    On a side note, this is Carlos’ favorite track from all the Glee music and as a result, I have heard it probably more than any other. 🙂 I’m getting nervous about your top 2. My number 1 has to be there, so I hope I’m not disappointed. 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    Finally got to see it! What a great performance 🙂

    When I watch that scene, I become a solid member of team Puck (so many dangerous possibilities there ;)) Their chemistry on the show is wonderful, and I hope they further explore them as a couple at some point in future seasons.

    As for the song, I’m a sucker for a Neil Diamond tune. I prefer “Forever in Blue Jeans,” but Rachel might have jumped Puck right there in the middle of the choir room if he’d broken into that song.

  4. Dana says:

    “Forever in Blue Jeans” is, indeed, arguably Neil Diamond’s best song.

  5. maddie says:

    I’ve been keeping up with all the Glee songs on this list for the most part, but because this happens to be Puck’s song and one of my favorites, i thought i should comment on this one. I really wouldn’t add much to what was already said except for disagreeing about the ranking with Dad because in my mind Puck has my favorite type of voice out of everyone there. He deserves to have a song make the top 3.

  6. Amy says:

    Have to be predictable:


  7. Clay says:

    Puck would SO kick that kid’s ass! 🙂

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