Tom Jones' Delilah: Why Welsh choirs are banned from singing the song at Six Nations

2 February 2023, 11:48 | Updated: 2 February 2023, 11:51

Welsh choirs are banned from singing Tom Jones' Delilah at the Six Nations
Welsh choirs are banned from singing Tom Jones' Delilah at the Six Nations. Picture: Radio X

By Jenny Mensah

The Welsh Rugby Union has banned the song Delilah from being sung by choirs at the Principality Stadium during the Six Nations.

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This week brought the news that Tom Jones’ staple Delilah would not be sung by Welsh choirs at Principality Stadium during the Six Nations rugby tournament.

The song has been a staple at rugby matches for decades, with its refrain: “Bye bye bye Delilah” ringing out through the stands.

Now, according to reports, the Welsh Rugby Union as told Welsh choirs to refrain from singing the classic 1968 hit.

Find out why here.

READ MORE: Why is Sweet Caroline sung at England football matches?

Tom Jones in 2015
Delilah is one of Tom Jones' most-known tracks. Picture: Michael Kovac/WireImage/Getty

Why is Tom Jones’ Delilah banned at Six Nations rugby?

Delilah has been known for its questionable lyrics, which describe a man stabbing his girlfriend after seeing her make love to another man.

As the song goes, he passes his girlfriend’s window and sees her cheating, waits outside her house all night with the plan of confronting her once her lover has left in the morning. However, when Delilah laughs in his face he violently stabs her to death and waits for the police to come and arrest him.

The killer goes through a host of different emotions during the short song, asking his dead girlfriend to forgive him, but still thinks he is justified as he couldn’t “take anymore”.

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

- Tom Jones' Delilah (written by Barry Mason and Les Reed)

As reported by the Daily Mail, a spokesperson for the stadium 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 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."

Who wrote Delilah for Tom Jones?

Delilah was composed in 1967, with the lyrics written by Barry Mason and the music written by Les Reed. It reached No. 1 in several countries, including Switzerland and Germany and scored a No. 2 in the British charts. The song earned them the 1968 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.

Is Tom Jones’ Delilah based on a true story?

Actually, yes. To an extent. While the part about the murder isn’t true, in 2001, Barry Mason told The Sun that he based the song on a girl he met on vacation in Blackpool, England when he was 15.

READ MORE: Tyson Fury releases Sweet Caroline for mental health charity

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