Welsh Rugby a Woke Joke, Banning Tom Jones’ Classic, 'Delilah'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | February 5, 2023
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Welsh superstar vocalist Sir Tom Jones stood above the hectoring fray this week, as Welsh Rugby Union officially “banned” stadiums from playing the music of, and fans from singing, his iconic 1968 chart-topper, “Delilah,” which has been a cultural fixture among Welsh Rugby crowds for years.

And Jones also stood tall as numerous chatterboxes in the UK pop media indicted themselves with poses of “shock” over the facts that:

A. “Delilah” tells the dramatic tale of a jealous man who has killed his lover and now laments his fate, and

B. These media “presenters” sang the song themselves, without comprehending the actual lyrics they were singing.

Sir Tom has kept a solid and appreciative view of his work and the tragic story imparted by the song, even after the controversy started to heat up in 2014, when woke-leftist politician Dafydd Iwan condemned its use, because, of course, it’s “promoting violence against women.” Never mind that the lyrics are a morality play against dooming oneself by committing murder. 

There’s something particularly desperate and pandering in the seemingly ceaseless leftist push to portray the issue of violence against women as not receiving “sufficient” attention, even as the relentless focus on it detracts from attention to overall violence.

And there’s something rather sad in the dual possibilities that people like Iwan either can’t appreciate the fact that the song is a catchy lesson about a man who has allowed a murderous fit of jealousy to destroy the woman he loves (and to seal his own fate), or that, in ignorance, they might think the song celebrates murder – against anyone.

At the time, The Guardian reported:

“’It’s not a political statement,’ Jones told the BBC on Thursday. ‘This woman us unfaithful to him and [the narrator] just loses it … It’s something that happens in life.’”

But, evidently, morality plays, the dirtiness and sloppiness of life, the highs and the terrible lows, the errors people make, the sins they commit, and the fictional creations allowing people to think about them all -- be they creations dramatic, ironic, darkly comedic, tragic, or even farcical – those must be cleansed from modern parlance.

Cut off the edges. Smooth every rough surface. Destroy every unapproved nuance. Disinfect and homogenize, in the name of the woke.

At the time, Jones noted:

“I love to hear it being sung at Welsh games. It makes me very proud to be Welsh that they’re using one of my songs.”

But now … The rugged runners of Welsh Rugby Union can’t handle the vastness of a song like “Delilah.” And, true to form among many in the pop media, certain British “presenters” can’t, either.

As The Express reports, ITV “news” hosts on Good Morning Britain Friday appeared utterly flummoxed to discover that they had been singing a song that actually says what it’s about. Hosts Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway turned to sports reporter Alison Bender. 

"Alison, as we've just heard, Kate was pointing out that those lyrics are stark," Shephard said. "I've sung along to this song. I've been at matches where England have played Wales, and I've enjoyed the rousing chorus of that."

He said he had no idea how “stark” those lyrics were, and finding out what the song is about made him “rethink” whether it was appropriate for people to sing in a joyous, communal way.

"I was not aware of those lyrics," Bender replied, "and to be honest it's the chorus that everyone sings along to.”

Despite it being delivered in A Minor, “Delilah” has a rousing chorus. So the host's imply it could be taken as a sly celebration of violence. It isn't. In fact, it's the opposite.

“And I also think there's a thing about the spirit of the song. So it's not an aggressive song. If you listen to those particular lyrics, it can be taken as violent and aggressive. But the chorus is rousing, it's actually very spirited. You can imagine families and memories and generations singing along and it's part of Welsh culture as well.”

So, if people simply are singing the chorus, which doesn’t mention murder, and they don’t know the rest of the song, then what’s the problem? And if they DO know the rest of the song, and its approach, again, what is the problem? It doesn’t sanctify murder. It’s a lament about jealousy, rage, and murder.

Related: Verboten! John Cleese ‘Blacklists’ Himself to Protest Woke Intolerance 

What’s next on the chopping block? “Macbeth?”  Poe's “The Tell-Tale Heart?” How about “While The City Sleeps” by MC 900 Ft. Jesus – a song told from the perspective of a pyromaniac? Should Rugby itself be banned because it's a brutal, injury-prone game?

Tom Jones’ voice is as strong today as it was in 1968. He recently did dozens of tour dates with a bum knee, putting off the surgery in order to fulfill the obligations and to see and communicate with fans. It’s a shame that some wokesters in the world of Rugby and politics can’t grasp the storytelling in a classic he sang more than fifty years ago.

But, perhaps their foolishness will bring new fans, and open the eyes of many to a wonderful song that tells a tale in the tradition of so many other great works of art.

Perhaps someone will write a song about the narrow-mindedness of the woke, and people will sing that someday, alongside “Delilah.”

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