Misogynist murder ballad banned in Wales


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The Welsh Rugby Union recently announced that choirs performing at international rugby matches at the Principality Stadium have been banned from singing the Tom Jones classic, Delilah. Coach John wades into the debate

Useful Vocabulary

wade into sth: to begin sth energetically

cry foul: to complain that someone has done something that is not fair

snowflakes: someone who is overly sensitive

‘woke’: aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)

PC: politically correct

manslaughter: the unlawful killing of a human being in which there is no prior intent to kill 

tailor-made: fashioned to a particular taste, purpose, demand, etc.

nagging: continually faultfinding, complaining, or petulant

Listen to the audio and read the text

Misogynist murder ballad banned in Wales

Delilah, the misogynist murder ballad, was a hit in 1968. The song is a crowd favourite at Welsh rugby matches. It contains the lines:

I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window,

I saw the flickering shadows of love on her blind,

She was my woman,

As she deceived me, I watched and went out of my mind,

She stood there laughing

I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more!”

Inevitably, the right have cried foul and accused the WRU of being snowflakes and indulging in cancel culture.  

However, a closer look at the issue shows there is more to the story than just another example of woke PC culture.

The decision follows a week in which the chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union was forced to resign, following allegations of sexism, misogyny and racism within the organisation. Maybe the WRU is trying to put right some long overdue wrongs? 

Domestic violence kills two women a week in the UK. All the charities that work in this field—and the police—say there’s a noticeable spike in the number of domestic violence incidents on international match weekends. 

Perhaps the actions of WRU will draw attention to the pandemic of domestic violence? It’s no fun for women who are victims of violence by men to have to listen to thousands of people sing the song.

Feminists have pointed out that for men who kill their partners, such as the fictional husband of Delilah, the defence of provocation, which reduces murder to manslaughter if successful, is tailor-made. It can be enough for the defendant to show that they were “provoked”, usually, it is claimed, by her “nagging” or alleged infidelity.

As Julie Bindel pointed out in the Guardian: 

“The lyrics in Delilah perfectly evoke the excuse made by many men who kill their wives. I have sat in murder trials, hearing almost exactly: ‘She was my woman. As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind’.”

Lots of people are indignant about the ‘banning’ of Delilah. Let’s hope they get equally indignant about domestic violence.

by ECP coach John Hird

Let’s chat about that

  1. Give a summary of the text to your coach and/or classmates.
  2. What has the Welsh Rugby Union actually announced? 
  3. How has the political right reacted to the news?.
  4. Explain the words and phrases, ‘snowflakes’ and ‘woke’ ‘PC.’
  5. What are the positive and negative aspects of the WRU announcement? 
  6. Who is Julie Bindel and what is her point?
  7. Are you surprised by the song lyrics and the artists who sang them on  page 2.