I was just settled down in my local Costa Coffee last week, my favourite Skinny Wet Latte with an extra shot in my hand, and the Daily Mail (thoughtfully provided by Costa) on the table.
I browsed through the major news stories, which all seemed so boringly predictable, and was about to shove the paper back in the rack when another, more interesting article caught my eye.
Upon reading the story, it became apparent that a “Senior Politician”, in this case, Mr Dafydd Iwan, the former president of the Welsh Nationalist Party Plaid Cymru, has objected to the Tom Jones hit ballad “Delilah” being sung before Welsh Rugby Matches.
I stifled my laughter, as there were other customers nearby, and I didn’t want to be regarded as weird, even although some may say I am.
It seems that the noble politician has got his knickers in a twist because he regards the song as offensive, because it “is about murder, and it trivialises the murder of women”
Well, I can see his point – to a certain extent. Not, however, to the extent that I believe it should be banned.
For pity’s sake! It’s a song! A very well written song, as evidenced by being awarded the Ivor Novello award for the “Best song musically and lyrically” in 1968. It was so good that it reached Number 2 in the UK top ten in the same year.
Now, using the same sort of skewed logic that our Mr Iwan uses, maybe we should stop singing “God Save the Queen” as this may be construed as sexist, elitist, and theologically unbalanced. Jingoistic, and appealing to the might of empire to obtain wealth and status.
Or maybe we should ban the genteel ladies of the Women’s Institute from opening their meetings with the wonderful Hymn “Jerusalem”. After all, it is condoning violence, “Bring me my bow, of burning gold, bring me my arrows of desire, bring me my spear, oh clouds unfold, bring me my chariot of fire”.
The next verse implores the middle aged ladies to wage what amounts to a religious war, with quotes like “Nor shall my sword, sleep in my hand, till we have built Jerusalem, in England’s green and pleasant land”
Maybe Liverpool City football fans should be prevented from singing You’ll never walk alone” as it could be suggesting that it’s encouraging stalkers to follow fans.
What about Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”. This is an anthem in praise of the larger lady, but if Mr Iwan and his ilk have their way, it will be suggested that this trivialises and marginalises the chunkier ladies. – better ban it as we can’t have that sort of suggestiveness!
Rod Stewart will certainly be banned, due to his chart topper Maggie May….in the dreary, dark, PC world that Mr Iwan wants us all to inhabit, this lyrical wistful ballad will be consigned to the Naughty Step, relating as it does, to the seduction of a schoolboy by a mature woman. In his world, this no doubt trivialises such actions.
The rest of us are mature enough to understand that the lyrics are merely a light hearted reflection on the types of adolescent fantasies that most schoolboys (myself included) have about older women.
Dean Martin – well, Little Ole Wine Drinker Me will be scuppered, as this obviously mocks the very real problems of alcoholism, and marginalises the needs and requirements of the alcoholic.
Nursery Rhymes shouldn’t be exempt either, most of which have lyrics that are of questionable integrity.
Jack and Jill famous for decades due to their hill climbing abilities? Banned! Why? Because it condones child labour. Fancy making little kids climb a steep hill to collect water. They obviously haven’t been adequately trained, and a proper risk assessment doesn’t seem to have been conducted. Furthermore, they weren’t wearing any form of protective clothing, or using the correct equipment for manually handling heavy buckets.
Ding Dong Bell doesn’t do well either. Think about it. “Ding dong bell. Pussy’s in the well, who put her in, Little Tommy Flynn”
Sounds like it’s trivialising the abuse of animals doesn’t it?
I could go on, and maybe research even more songs that should be banned using the flawed logic of Mr Iwan.
Ultimately, it’s all too silly for words. So, the lyrics of Delilah tell the story of a man pushed too far. It’s no worse than watching a modern police series, or, dare I say it, a contemporary soap series. You can see it happening for real every night on the TV news.
It’s a great song Mr Iwan. It’s a wonderful powerful stirring ballad that is sung by one of your countrymen, a man with a great voice. It’s been adopted by the Welsh Rugby fans because it is FUN to sing along as a big crowd, and Tom Jones is a true Welsh icon.
Quite unlike Mr Iwan, who I’m sure will sink into obscurity long before Delilah stops being sung by us ordinary, cheerful adults who are able to discriminate between political comment, and a good song.