back to top

Shadow Cabinet Member Wants Welsh Rugby Fans To Stop Singing "Delilah"

"It's quite depressing how many men are making light of domestic violence," Chris Bryant said.

Posted on

Welsh MP Chris Bryant has called for rugby fans to stop singing Tom Jones' hit song "Delilah" and said Welsh people needed to take domestic violence more seriously.

Bryant, shadow leader of the House, was speaking to MPs during a debate in Westminster Hall on Thursday about the role of men in preventing violence against women.

The Labour MP said the song was about the murder of a sex worker and its ban was just one example of how Welsh people should tackle domestic violence.

The lyrics include: "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."

Released in 1968, "Delilah" has become something of an unofficial anthem for Welsh rugby fans. In 2008, a choir was brought to the Millennium Stadium to sing the song along with thousands in the crowd.

Bryant, who admits to previously singing the song himself, said he knew people would call him "a terrible spoilsport” in calling for the ban but said he had to speak out.

"There are thousands of other songs we could sing. We Welsh know every song in the book – we even know some of the words," he said.

"I have sung 'Delilah' as well – everybody loves doing the 'She stood there laughing' moment – but if we are really going to take this issue seriously in Wales, we have to change how we do things."

It's quite depressing how many men are making light of domestic violence. Makes my point really.

This isn't the first time "Delilah" has been criticised. Last year, former Plaid Cymru president Dafydd Iwan said it was “a song about murder and it does tend to trivialise the idea of murdering a woman. It’s a pity these words now have been elevated to the status of a secondary national anthem.”

But Tom Jones has insisted there's nothing wrong with his song and said he loved hearing it sung at Welsh games. "If it’s going to be taken literally, I think it takes the fun out of it,” he said.

Listen to the song here:

View this video on YouTube

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.