Choir barred from singing Tom Jones' 'Delilah' at Ireland-Wales Six Nations clash, and forever

Tom Jones
Tom Jones

FANS attending the Ireland-Wales Six Nations rugby international this weekend will not hear any choir sing Tom Jones’ hit Delilah following a ban by the home team's governing body.

The Welsh Rugby Union described the “problematic and upsetting” lyrics as the reason for barring choirs from singing the popular 1967 hit.

Delilah tells the story of a violent domestic relationship that ends with the man fatally stabbing his partner.

The song includes the lyric: “She stood there laughing/I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more.”

But the choir ban is unlikely to stop fans from both sides singing the song at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, which has been belted out by Welsh supporters for decades and is close to an unofficial anthem.

The decision follows a damning report that alleges the WRU as a workplace has a “toxic” culture and is rife with misogyny.

Fans of both Wales and Ireland posted on social media in response, delivering a mixed response, with some agreeing the lyrics promoted domestic violence and others arguing it is an artistic retelling of one of the oldest stories, a doomed love affair.

A Principality Stadium spokesperson said: “Delilah will not feature on the playlist for choirs for rugby internationals at Principality Stadium. The WRU removed the song from its half-time entertainment and music playlist during international matches in 2015. Guest choirs have also more recently been requested not to feature the song during their pre-match performances and throughout games.

“The WRU condemns domestic violence of any kind. 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.”

Ireland face Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday
Ireland face Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday

The announcement of the ban came as tickets go on sale on Friday for Tom Jones’ Belfast gig in June.

It was written by Barry Mason with music by Les Reed. Released in 1967 and and won the 1968 Ivor Novello award, the most prestigious song writing prize.

The song hit number two in the UK charts. Along with Sir Tom’s Green, Green Grass of Home it is one of the fans’ favourites since the 1970s.