For decades, the Tom Jones song “Delilah” was the unofficial Welsh rugby anthem traditionally played before the start of a match. But that should be the end of it now.
The Welsh Rugby Union has sparked a debate in Great Britain by banning Tom Jones’ 1960s hit “Delilah”. As British media reported, choirs are no longer allowed to sing the unofficial Welsh rugby anthem at the upcoming Six Nations tournament. The reason for the ban is the text in which a man attacks his unfaithful partner Delilah with a knife. That could upset some spectators, said a spokesman for Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
“We condemn domestic violence of any kind”
Usually, “Delilah” is heard before the game starts. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) banned the song from being played over the sound system in the stadium where Wales plays their international matches. The popular song continued to be sung by spectators and choirs in the stadium. Now the WRU has also banned visiting music choirs from singing the popular classic by Tom Jones. One condemns “domestic violence of any kind”, it said.
On Twitter, many fans expressed their anger and surprise at the decision. Welsh rugby pro Louis Rees-Zammit also showed no understanding of the ban. “All the things that they have to take care of and then they do that…” he tweeted.
Tom Jones: “It’s not political”
The background to the association’s decision could also be that the WRU recently made negative headlines because of an alleged “toxic culture”. President Steve Phillips even resigned as a result. The association has announced an independent investigation.
Pop star Tom Jones sang his hit, which took him to number two in the UK hit parade in 1968, at a concert at Principality Stadium last summer. In the past he had defended the song. “It’s not political, it’s about a man losing control,” Jones said. “I didn’t think when I was singing that I was the man who would kill the girl. I was playing a role.” Don’t take the song literally.