Content Warning: this article deals with domestic violence.
The move to ban Sir Tom Jones’ 1968 hit Delilah has been met with fierce debate online after the song’s lyrics were deemed “problematic and upsetting”.
Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) recently made the announcement that Jones’ hit will no longer be performed by choirs at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
The lyrics of the song have long attracted controversy, with one line referencing a woman being murdered by her partner.
“I crossed the street to her house and she opened the door; she stood there laughing, I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more,” the line reads.
The decision by the WRU follows allegations of sexism and misogyny that have been levelled against the club recently.
“The WRU condemns domestic violence of any kind,” a stadium spokesperson said.
“We have previously sought advice from subject matter experts on the issue of censoring the song, and we are respectfully aware that it is problematic and upsetting to some supporters because of its subject matter.”
The decision sparked fierce debate online with many condemning woke culture for the “absolute nonsense”.
We need to buy Tom Jones song deliha get it to number 1 the police want us to stop singing it. Wokeness Gone Mad.
— Tricia Davis ???????? (@triciadavis24) February 2, 2023
So, Delilah is being banned which should automatically see it hit No1 for Tom Jones in the coming weeks. Reflecting the bans for Relax and Sexual Healing. The woke have taken over our lives. Sing it loud and proud on Saturday at all games not just Rugby.
— Andrew Coakley (@Metzyco1) February 2, 2023
Absolute nonsense! Just police and stop this crap. We don’t need woke point scoring over a song released 50 years ago. If you think a Tom Jones song is going to incite anyone to harm women then you should resign. Find something better to do with your time.
— V (@vmon_gb) February 2, 2023
I can’t imagine Wales will stand still for this insult to Tom Jones & what he’s meant. i expect the rafters to shake with “Delilah” sung by the fans if it’s banned pic.twitter.com/fgcCI5MjMq
— The Beloved Debs (@McDebida) February 2, 2023
So Tom Jones: Delilah banned for choirs at Principality Stadium . Jesus christ this world is going mad ????????????
— Torstein Football fan (@MrTs19876102) February 2, 2023
For all those who were vocal in their condemnation of the ban, just as many were in support of the song being removed for the “shocking” lyrics.
This is why Delilah isn’t a nice song to sing. Glorifying a murder of a woman. #Deliliah #TomJones
Love Tom, and I am sure the Welsh legend will endorse and encourage the rugby fans to sing one of his other amazing songs at the matches. x pic.twitter.com/rkVyuIxMWx
— Rachel Williams (@Rachel_SUTDA) February 2, 2023
I really like Tom Jones. And musically Delilah is a great song.
But it is literally a song about a jealous man stabbing a woman to death. And then blaming her for it.
So you know.
— Angela (@AngelaMarston) February 1, 2023
These lyrics are shocking! I think people just sing along not realising what they are actually saying!
— Zoe Stuttard (@ZoeStuttard) February 2, 2023
Horrible lyrics. Should not have been sung before the latest furore. Casual misogyny. The only Welsh connection I aware of is with the great singer Tom Jones and he has many better songs.
— Gareth Thomas (@gt7660412) February 2, 2023
I loved it as a kid but now not so much love Tom Jones loved how he sang it but that verse needs to be removed
— Donna Falconer (@dfalconer59) February 2, 2023
Welsh rugby fans have sung Delilah during matches as an unofficial anthem since the early 1970s. Critics have previously called for the song to be banned due to its lyrics, which Jones has dismissed.
“I don’t think [singers] are really thinking about it,” Jones told the BBC in 2014.
“If it’s going to be taken literally, I think it takes the fun out of it.”
FAMILY VIOLENCE DISCLAIMER: If you are concerned about domestic and family violence in your family, friends or workplace, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732, Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978, Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 for confidential support, advice and referral that will help you explore your options.