Uncategorized

“Samson” (Regina Spektor)

A few months back, I heard a beautiful song, by an artist I wish I’d started listening to years ago. During the first flush of love for a new singer/songwriter, I went off to YouTube and listened to several of her songs; but mostly, this one on repeat. In the course of reading numerous user comments, I kept stumbling over the idea that the song is actually about a cancer patient and/or specifically, should have been written in response to the book, “The Fault in Our Stars”. One of the comments was, also, arguing that the song is about the biblical couple, Samson and Delilah (it absolutely *is* about that Samson) and I penned a response touching on all of the above points–I never posted it, because I hadn’t yet read or seen “TFIOS”. Having read it now, I feel justified in blogging my response to this heartrending, exquisite song:

(Do remember, this is a response to the pithy and well-thought-out comment “Duh, this song is totally about Samson and Delilah from the Bible, geez, if you’d read it you’d know that–she sings that she LOVES him, Delilah was the lover of Samson…”)

Yes… but the song also says, “History books forgot about us, and the Bible didn’t mention us… not even once”. Are you suggesting that the Bible and/or other books don’t mention Delilah? Also–Samson had at least one love, before he met Delilah (he was married, according to the Bible, about 20 years before the whole Delilah thing)–can you tell me how someone else could have been with Samson first (“I loved you first”) if that person *was* Delilah?

Or–and maybe this is far-fetched, but bear with me–maybe song is actually a metaphor for something else. Say, the girl singing is meant to be a modern-day Samson’s first love (before Delilah, or any other women) and when he leaves her, she can’t get over it (“you are my sweetest downfall”) but, sadly, the girl he chooses (a “Delilah” character) turns out to be *his* downfall (you know the story: strength-sapping haircut, his eventual death) and what we’re listening to now is his first, pre-Delilah love, mourning the fact that her Samson is gone and no one even knows about their relationship.

If, as other posters have suggested, this song is about a friend/lover of Regina’s who had cancer, the song itself makes even more sense. “Your hair was long when we first met,” fits the Samson theme, but it also makes sense for a modern-day cancer patient who’s had/having chemo; and the idea that he went back to bed, weak and too sick to eat anything other than a slice of white bread, after she cuts his hair first, before “Delilah”/cancer can remove it all… I don’t know about you, but I find that a very compelling explanation for the imagery in the song. It also adds a layer of meaning to why she really can’t get over him… I think if your first love dies tragically and unexpectedly, it’s going to have a longer-lasting impact than if you break up and he starts dating a girl you think is bad for him.

Thoughts?

Advertisements
Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s