"Sweet Caroline" has been a huge hit for Neil Diamond.

Story highlights

Diamond told the story of "Sweet Caroline"

Royalties from the song were donated to Boston bombing victims

The singer has his first album in six years

CNN  — 

It was a great story.

For years the lore has been that Neil Diamond’s 1969 song “Sweet Caroline” was an ode to the then young daughter of late president John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline.

On Monday, the singer revealed the truth behind the hit.

“I was writing a song in Memphis, Tennessee, for a session. I needed a three-syllable name,” Diamond said during an appearance on “Today.” “The song was about my wife at the time — her name was Marsha — and I couldn’t get a ‘Marsha’ rhyme.”

“Sweet Caroline” has since become a staple track, and in 2013 Diamond announced that he would donate the royalties to One Fund Boston to help those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.

The song has been played at every Boston Red Sox home game for more than a decade, and there was a spike in downloads after the April 2013 tragedy.

Diamond is releasing his first album in six years, “Melody Road,” and said on “Today” that he “was a nervous wreck going into this new album.”