There is an official music video for this song available on Youtube, but the below version is the first I heard, and I prefer it much more than the original recording. 

This song alludes to the story of Samson and Delilah.  I think Regina Spektor wrote this song to try and give it a different, somewhat more personal ending than the one that is recorded in the Bible. 


You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth
I have to go, I have to go
Your hair was long when we first met

Before the song even mentions the name Samson, one may be able to draw the allusion to Samson by the first and last lines of the opening stanza.  Most people refer to Delilah as "Samson's downfall."  Depending on one's own interpretation of the song, the opening line can be argued from Samson's or Delilah's viewpoint.  In relation to the last line of the opening stanza, anyone familiar with the story of Samson and Delilah in the Bible knows that Samson's strength lies in the length of his hair, which he kept long.

Samson went back to bed
Not much hair left on his head
He ate a slice of wonder bread and went right back to bed
And history books forgot about us and the bible didn't mention us
And the bible didn't mention us, not even once

When Delilah cuts Samson's hair, his strength leaves him.  "Not much hair left on his head" alludes to this.

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the stars came fallin' on our heads
But they're just old light, they're just old light
Your hair was long when we first met

Samson came to my bed
Told me that my hair was red
Told me I was beautiful and came into my bed
Oh I cut his hair myself one night
A pair of dull scissors in the yellow light
And he told me that I'd done alright
And kissed me 'til the mornin' light, the mornin' light
And he kissed me 'til the mornin' light

I've always thought that Samson's hair was red.  I don't know exactly from where I got that notion (VBS as a kid, maybe?), but when I first heard that line I could According to behindthename.com, "Samson" means "sun," which could draw a parallel to his hair color.

"Told me I was beautiful and came into my bed" alludes to Samson's lustful love for Delilah. 

"Oh I cut his hair myself one night" alludes to the act of Delilah cutting Samson's hair herself, although contrary to popular belief, the ESV Literary Study Bible says in Judges 16:19, "And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head."  So Delilah herself did not actually cut the locks of hair from Samson's head, but rather an unknown man did.

I did not realize this until our reading assignment, and many may not recognize this allusion unless they are wholly familiar with the Bible, but "'til the mornin' light" alludes, in the story of Samson and Delilah, to Judges 16:2, which says, "They kept quiet all night, saying, 'Let us wait till the light of the morning; then we will kill him.'"  This was said by the Gazites who were waiting to ambush Samson, but their attempts proved futile.

Samson went back to bed
Not much hair left on his head
Ate a slice of wonderbread and went right back to bed
Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down
Yeah we couldn't destroy a single one
And history books forgot about us
And the bible didn't mention us, not even once

"Bring the columns down" is an allusion to the image of Samson bringing the columns of the temple down after he is captured by the Philistines, thus committing suicide (Judges 16:29-30, ESV).

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first

One can argue that the song can be seen from Delilah's viewpoint of how she viewed her relationship with Saul.  Yes, she did betray him by revealing his weakness and handing him over to the Philistines for money, but the Bible never mentions whether or not Delilah loved Samson.  Who's to say that she didn't?  Maybe Samson was Delilah's downfall as much as she was his.
 


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