A Welsh police chief is supporting the ban of classic song Delilah at rugby matches, telling fans that it is ‘time to sing something else’.
Defiant Welsh rugby supporters have vowed to continue singing fan favourite tune after it was dropped from matches over ‘woke’ claims it glorifies domestic violence.
Richard Lewis, chief constable of Dyfed-Powys police, said that there had been ‘misplaced criticism’ at the decision about Sir Tom Jones’ classic song.
The 1968 hit was traditionally performed by a male voice choir before matches at the Principality Stadium. but has been struck from the playlist ahead of this weekend’s Six Nations.
Proud fans blasted the ‘ridiculous decision’ and vowed to continue singing, with one saying: ‘Try stopping 50,000 people.’
(File Photo) The 1968 Tom Jones hit Delilah has been an anthem for Wales rugby fans for years
A Welsh police chief is supporting the ban of classic song Delilah at rugby matches, telling fans that it is ‘time to sing something else’
Tom Jones’s lyrics include: ‘I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more’
Lewis, who was the National Police Chiefs Council lead for ethics, tweeted: ‘There’s been a lot of misplaced criticism of this decision to stop singing “Delilah”.
‘The song depicts the murder of a woman by a jealous partner.
‘For context, approx 2 women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner.
‘It’s time to sing something else.’
While Wales star Louis Rees-Zammit was among the chorus of opposition against the move, tweeting: ‘All the things they need to do and they do that first.’
The WRU was last week rocked by allegations of sexism, racism and misogyny which led to former chief executive Steve Phillips resigning from his post.
A number of ex-WRU employees have taken part in an investigation making accusations about their time at the governing body.
Charlotte Wathan, general manager of women’s rugby until her resignation last February, claims the offensive comments by a colleague left her in tears and feeling sick.
An unnamed woman even said she was left contemplating suicide following bullying and sexism she was subject to.
The WRU has been questioned on the timing of its decision on Delilah given the serious allegations, with some questioning whether the move was intended as a distraction.
Wales fan Ann Hawyes said: ‘This song is not sung to insult or upset anybody in any shape or form. Never has been or will be. They will sing it even louder now than ever. Good luck.’
Josephina Cahill said: ‘People aren’t singing it because of what the song is about, they are singing it because it’s a belter of a song to sing together.
‘I bet 90 per cent of the people who sing it don’t know what the song is about but they sing it in unison because it gives the feel good factor.
‘Keep singing it rugby fans, I’m no Tom Jones fan but the atmosphere you get singing in the stadium is something us Welsh are proud of.’
And Lisa-Marie Robson said cancelling the song would not solve the issues the WRU faces. She said: ‘If they want to address the allegations of a ‘toxic’ culture and misogyny then take proper action, not make a token gesture that’s ‘seen to be doing something’ but will have no effect at all.
Louis Rees-Zammit has joined the criticism of the Welsh Rugby Union over banning the song
Wales supporter Kev said: ‘I think the Welsh Rugby fans will decide what they sing at the game, not some guy with a clipboard.’
Andy Patey added: ‘What a load of politically correct rubbish.’
While Lee Shephard said: ‘I hope all the Welsh fans sing it loud and proud at the next game.’
House of Commons standards chief Sir Chris Bryant has long campaigned for the classic Sixties hit to be banned because of it lyrics about abuse towards women.
The song is about a jealous lover stabbing his unfaithful partner – and has long been a Welsh rugby anthem.
A union spokesperson said: ‘Delilah will not feature on the playlist for choirs for rugby internationals at Principality Stadium.
Many fans rubbished the Welsh Rugby Union’s ban and insisted they would keep singing the song, although some agreed with the controversial decision
‘The WRU removed the song from its half-time entertainment and music play list 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.’
The songwriter has previously hit out at claims her song incites domestic violence.
Slyvan Whittingham, 78, said men drinking is to blame for domestic abuse.
She said: ‘Don’t blame Delilah for all this – blame beer.
‘The reason there is more domestic violence after rugby matches is because men have been drinking, wives complain about it, and then they get bashed.
‘It’s not anything to do with Delilah.’
Rhondda MP Sir Chris Bryant had raised concerns about the Tom Jones song – stating that incidents of domestic violence rise after sports fixtures.
Delilah will reportedly not feature on the playlist for Wales’ upcoming Six Nations fixtures, beginning later this month
The controversy is a long-running issue, with a campaign launched back in 2014 to ban it from Welsh rugby matches
Welsh rugby supporters pictured singing ahead of their match against Italy at Principality Stadium on March 19 last year
Songwriter Mrs Whittingham, who wrote the classic in two hours, says that Mr Bryant ‘made up’ the idea the song is about a prostitute.
‘There is no evidence anywhere that she is a prostitute,’ she said.
Mr Bryant had said: ‘It is a simple fact that when there are big international rugby matches on, and sometimes football matches as well, the number of domestic violence incidents rises dramatically.
‘I know that some people will say, ‘Oh, here we go, he’s a terrible spoilsport,’ but the truth is that that song is about the murder of a prostitute.
‘It goes right to the heart of the issues we are discussing. There are thousands of other songs we could sing.’
The Welsh Rugby Union had previously defended the sing of the song – but has now caved to pressure. At the time in 2015 a spokesman said: ‘Within rugby Delilah has gained prominence through its musicality rather than 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.’
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