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

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 the history books forgot about us
And the Bible didn't mention us
And the Bible didn't mention us, not even once

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

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
Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down
Yeah, we couldn't destroy a single one
And the history books forgot about us
And the Bible didn't mention us, not even once

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first

Lyrics submitted by anna118k, edited by teetering

Samson Lyrics as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Samson song meanings
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  • +23
    General CommentI went and read some about the story of Samson and Delilah, and I think it gave me more insight into this song.

    According to the biblical story, Samson was given extraordinary physical strength through God. First he fell in love with a woman named Timnah, a Philistine, and weds her-- at the wedding reception, he promises a group of Philistines that he will provide them with thirty sets of clothes if they can solve a riddle. They are unable to solve it, but they implore Timnah to get the answer from him-- she does, and tells them, and Samson becomes furious because he doesn't have clothing to give to them.

    He leaves town and kills thirty other men in a nearby village, steals their clothing, but when he returns, Timnah is now married to a friend of his. Enraged, he ultimately ends up killing a thousand of the Philistines.

    When he goes to Gaza, Samson meets and falls in love with Delilah. The Philistines convince her to get him to tell her the source of his power-- he tells her it's his hair (however, it was not *really* in his hair, but because he had already broken two laws of the Nazarite. this was enough for God to take his power away from him).

    Delilah cuts off all of Samson's hair, and then he is captured by the Philistines, who gouge out his eyeballs. However, the way he dies is by pulling down the two central pillars in a temple.

    This seems to be referred to in the song with the lines "Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down / Yeah, we couldn't destroy a single one."

    I think the narrator of this song-- Delilah-- is lamenting about what could have been. Because she secretly did love Samson. All of the stories say that Samson loved Delilah, and make no mention of her returning the feelings. The lyric "I loved you first" seems to imply that not only did she love him back, but she loved him before he even loved her.

    As I see it, this song is about how she imagined a different ending for their tragic romance. In this version, after she cuts his hair, he just eats a piece of bread, tells her it's okay, it's all right, nothing has changed. They make love and get a happy ending.

    And in her version, the Bible doesn't even mention them because what she did didn't matter-- he didn't change history, and they just loved each other, quietly.
    buffyxon May 20, 2006   Link
  • +16
    Song MeaningThis is actually a twist to the story of Samson and Delilah in the book of Judges in the Bible. Samson's hair was the source of his superhuman strength. When he came to be with Delilah, she cut off his hair and took away his strength. The important element to draw from this is the idea that to be with Delilah, Samson gave up his strength, his wildness, his independence. In essence, she tamed him, checked his power. That is a metaphor of what happens when a man falls in love with a woman: In order for a man to be with a woman, he must be tamed, his independence and thus his strength is checked by the commitment of a monogamous relationship. It's a tale as old as time, beauty tames the beast, Delilah cuts Samson's hair, women civilize the men.

    In the actual story, Samson used to terrorize his enemies, the Philistines. Samson falls in love with a Philistine woman against God's council. When his enemies realize this, they blackmail Delilah into cutting Samson's hair while he was asleep by threatening to kill her family. Samson wakes up angry. But as he is powerless now, his enemies take him away from Delilah, blind him, and chain him to the two main pillars of their temple to mock him. But his hair grows back and he slowly regains his superhuman strength without his enemies realizing it. Long story short, he is finally able to get back at his enemies by breaking down the pillars temple during a celebration, bringing down the roof, effectively killing himself along with is enemies.

    But the twist in this song is Delilah seems to have worked on her own when she cuts Samson's hair. When she does, Samson doesn't wake up angry. In fact he's pleased. Delilah says, "And he told me that I'd done alright". The tamed Samson eats his Wonder bread, like a normal civil man, and goes back to bed, like a normal civil man. No pillars were broken down, no temple came tumbling down. Only "old light" from the stars. No legend was created, no history changed, no stories told in the Bible or anywhere. He has given up his strength, his wildness, his independence, his dominance over his enemies for love.

    But the catch that isn't said explicitly in the song (but strongly implied) is that by cutting his hair and taming him Delilah saves his life.
    Kindo88on January 30, 2013   Link
  • +14
    General CommentI think this song really is about Regina finding a man who was willing to be weak and open to her. After all, Sampson knew all his strength came from his hair. The image of him loving a woman so much that he let her cut his hair is powerful because he would be so vunerable. I think many women wish that men would more often let down their machismo guards and reveal themselves. Regina may still be looking for a Sampson who will let her cut his hair...
    ultimatesparanzaon April 29, 2005   Link
  • +6
    General Comment"And history books forgot about us and the bible didnt mention us" I think she's trying to tell that the history books and the bible didnt mention their love.. it didnt explain their love and their lives.. i know the story of sampson and delilah since i was a little girl.. but what i really know and what history really cared to tell was the fact that delilah deceived sampson.. and this song brings a new and fresh conception of the story.. in this song what really matters is their love... sampson dindt care to be deceived because of his mad love, and delilah.. well maybe she was following the orders of her people..and then in the middle of it she falls in love too..
    Zuleykaaon May 11, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI love Regina because she writes little stories, like short fiction, instead of just writing all about her own life and it is very refreshing. She has said herself that that's how she writes all of her songs, like stories, so she can take on any point of view...
    Anyway I think this definitely has to do with Samson, but not Delilah. I think it's like Regina taking the point of view of a woman who came before Delilah, who truly loved Samson instead of just wanting to cut off his hair so he would lose his strength. But Samson loved her and trusted her enough to let himself be vulnerable with her. He let her cut off his hair. But their love ended for whatever reason, and she is reflecting on how beautiful it was even though no one will ever know about it because no one ever mentioned it. At least that's how I look at's a gorgeous song. Also I think "Your hair was long when we first met" sort of meant that he had his guard up, and that he didn't want to let her in. I don't think she regretted cutting his hair at all, I mean it says, "And he told me that I had done alright and kissed me 'til the morning light" so I think they were happy.
    But then Delilah came along and that was the story that everyone heard about.
    No matter how you look at it, bottom line, very pretty song. And a great way to open up her album Songs.
    adamanteveon January 23, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General CommentFor some reason, I don't think this song is very linear. For me it seems to jump perspectives a lot - like, I can't say for sure "This is from the perspective of the woman who first loved Samso", because to me, the repeated "You are my sweetest downfall" sounds like something Samson would be saying. I think this song does a really good job of showing how with Delilah, when his hair is cut (Second verse), he's very disconnected - He's just lost his source of power, and he goes and eats some bread, and goes to sleep, but with this other woman, he "Kisses her till the morning light" - how Samson really had that deep emotional connection with this other woman.
    Smooth-a-tronon August 10, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentTo go on a different path, I think this song is about her own "Samson" who had cancer. The hair resembles the disease because cancer weakens the body and immune system (like in the bibles story, he becomes weak without his hair). Samson in her life was forgotten by the history books and not mentioned in the bible, like Regina says. To her he was very important but not so important to the rest of the world so he was not worth mentioning in those kind of important texts.
    "Oh, we couldn't bring the columns down
    Yeah, we couldn't destroy a single one"
    Those lines tells me they could not fight the cancer and he did die.
    I found that this thought fit the song in all aspects.
    xojuliabuliaoxon June 25, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentNo, these are all wrong! I read an interview about it. This song is about a man named Samson who has cancer, so when she says "Your hair was long when we first met", she means that she met him before he had cancer and then he lost his hair. She writes "He ate a slice of Wonderbread" because that's what cancer patients are often told to eat. When she sings "And the Bible didn't mention us/ Not even once" it's because they went through so much together and the bible didn't even talk about them. It's NOT about the Sampson and Deliah story in the bible. Oh and when she sings "I loved you first", I think it's because cancer "loved" Samson and took him from her.
    beggin4meghan21on May 31, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis reminds me of Deliah and Samson in the bible. It's like Deliah [excuse me if I spelled her name wrong] was trying to tell someone her view of their relationship. Samson had long hair and she cut it and was a notorious slut/whore in the bible. But according to this song, they really loved each other. She's trying to put everything that is right back together while everyone else is twisting them around.
    rustytheskatemakeron December 05, 2004   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThe way I relate to this song is as follows. I loved a Samson. He let himself be so vulnerable. His crowning glory was his selflessness. I cut his hair one night and took advantage of his kind heart. He told me that it was all right and kissed me 'til the morning light.. but i had to go, i had to go... After I left, my Samson found someone else, which was his wonderbread and went right back to life as normal, loving someone else. We shared so much and now it's as though we never happened. The history books forgot about us. He was, very much so, my sweetest downfall.

    This song means a great deal to me.
    llyon October 06, 2009   Link

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