Welsh's 'Delilah' comes under scrutiny
SPOTLIGHT: Tom Jones’ ode to heartbreak ‘Delilah’could be the latest rugby anthem to face the chop after calls on Twitter to have it banned from Welsh grounds.
There’s been considerable debate this week on the merits of England’s ‘Sweet Chariot’, due to its origins as a slave song. The song is now under official review at the RFU after a spokesperson admitted the England rugby organisation needed to grow awareness about the song’s origins.
But now Delilah, a favourite among Welsh fans at the Principality Stadium, could be next to face the prospect of scrapping. Critics of the song believe that it ‘trivialises’ violence against women. In the song, the protagonist stabs the titular Delilah after spying her with another man.
“I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window, I saw the flickering shadow of love on her blind, She was my woman, As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind.
“At break of day when that man drove away I was waiting, 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 BBC’s Wyre Davies posted: “If England rugby fans should drop “Swing Low”, shouldn’t Wales do likewise with “Delilah” (“a song that trivialises the idea of murdering a woman”)?”
Good point by @carolyn_hitt (and not a new debate). If #England rugby fans should drop “Swing Low”, shouldn’t #Wales do likewise with “Delilah” (“a song that trivialises the idea of murdering a woman”)?
— Wyre Davies (@WyreDavies) June 20, 2020
If English rugby fans are urged to stop singing ‘Swing low,’ the Welsh has better have a think about singing Delilah: a song about a self-confessed, domestic abuser,stabbing his ex in a jealous rage. “She stood there laughing. I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more.”
— Alex Ghattas (@AlexGhattas) June 19, 2020
It isn’t the first time the lyrics of the song have been called into question. There were calls to ban Delilah back in 2014 and 2016. The WRU defended the song, saying: ‘“Within rugby, Delilah has gained prominence through its musicality rather than because of its lyrics.
“There is however plenty of precedent in art and literature, prominently in Shakespearean tragedies for instance, for negative aspects of life to be portrayed.”
However, off the back of the Swing Low controversy, the thorny issue has raised its head once more. It seems however, that majority would prefer not to ban the song.
Interesting fans voting results :
Swing low sweet chariot :
93% keep vs 7% ban it
Flower of Scotland :
78% keep vs 22% ban it
— Rotherham Rugby News (@titansrugbynews) June 20, 2020
By Ian Cameron, Rugbypass