The 1960s hit “Delilah” by Welsh singer Tom Jones won’t be at Six Nations rugby games.
A popular song by Tom Jones that just won’t feature at Welsh sporting events at the Six Nations tournament amid allegations of sexism, cruelty and racism at the Welsh Rugby Union.
“Delilah,” which was first released in 1968, contains lyrics that are “difficult” and upsetting to some supporters, a statement issued on Thursday by the WRU said.
Song of a jealous lover with a woman, Delilah with another man. One line reads: “I went over to his house and opened the door; he stood there laughing, I felt a knife in his hand and he laughed no more.”
It will not be sung by a male-voiced choir before Wales’ match against Ireland in the Six Nations on Saturday or in future games. Wales also play at home against England in the third round of the tournament.
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“Delilah will not feature in the play-offs for rugby internationals at the Principality Stadium,” reads a statement from the venue.
“The WRU removed the song from the center of entertainment and the music of the players during the 2015 international matches.
“Guest choirs have also recently been asked not to mark the song during preview shows and during games. The WRU condemns domestic violence of any kind.”
WRU chief executive Steve Phillips stepped down on Sunday amid claims of a toxic culture at the organisation. It was made following a BBC documentary which contained allegations of misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia in the governing body.
British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that the WRU was quickly moved after the news channel showed footage of the choir rehearsing “Delilah” ahead of the Wales-England match on February 25.
In 2020, the English Rugby Football Union reviewed the context of the rugby anthem – “Slow Down, Sweet Car” – amid Black Lives Matter protests.
The song is believed to have its roots in American slavery, the author of which is believed to be Waleys Willis – a freed slave from Oklahoma.
The RFU did not ban the chant but said it would be “proactive” for fans to organize chant histories.