Tom Jones is a national legend but it is time he ditched Delilah

(This is the text of my Opinion column first published in the Brighton Argus on 26th February 2016)

Sir Tom Jones is set to perform at the County Ground in Hove in July.

No doubt there will be a sell-out crowd. Sir Tom is one of the most popular performers in the country and his enduring popularity for over 50 years is proof of that. It is unlikely that any of the so-called musicians of today will be remembered in 10 years, let alone in 50 years time.

But one thing has to go. The song Delilah is out of keeping by today’s standards. While it has such a memorable tune, it does present domestic homicide as something that a man is led to commit because of the taunting of his female partner.

Its lyrics include: “She was my woman, As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind” and “She stood there laughing, I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more”.

There are three domestic killings each week in the United Kingdom and a song that blames the female victim is not acceptable. I cannot imagine that a catchy tune excusing the lynching of black people would be regarded as acceptable today.

I write this as a lifelong Stoke City supporter where there is a campaign to ban Delilah, an unofficial club song, from the terraces.

I hope that it disappears at the Britannia Stadium and makes no appearance at the County Ground in July. It’s time to ditch Delilah.


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