Samson and Delilah
DESCRIPTION: "Delilah was a woman, fine and fair, Very pleasant looks and coal black hair... If I had my way I'd tear the building down." Delilah tricks Samson out of the secret of his strength; he is captured, but manages to tear the building down.
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Rev. T. E. Weems)
KEYWORDS: Bible religious death hair trick lie
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Lomax-Singing, pp. 6-8, "Samson" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 251, "Samson" (1 text, 1 tune)
Courlander-NFM, pp. 49-50, "(If I Had My Way)" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Harold Courlander, _A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore_, Crown Publishers, 1976, pp. 312-313, "(no title)" (1 text)
Blind Gary Davis, "Samson and Delilah" (1992, on "Harlem Street Singer," Prestige Bluesville CD OBCCD-547-2(BV-1015); recorded 1960)
Blind Willie Johnson, "If I Had My Way I'd Tear the Building Down" (Columbia 14343-D, 1928; Vocalion 03021, 1935; rec. 1927)
Celina Lewis, "Session with Celina Lewis" (on NFMAla6)
Rev. T. E. Weems, "If I Had My Way I'd Tear the Building Down" (Columbia 14254-D, 1927)
NOTES: Most of this story is Biblically accurate. The story of Samson occupies chapters 13-16 of Judges. We may categorize:
* Delilah's beauty (not mentioned; we are only told that Samson loved her; see 16:4)
* Samson's birth: A miraculous event described in chapter 13
* "Strongest man that ever lived on earth": not explicit, but tales of his strength fill most of chapters 14-16
* "He killed three thousand Philistines": No such number is given. We read in 14:19 that he killed 30, in 15:15 of another thousand, etc., and in 16:30 that he killed more by knocking down the building than he had in life.
* The dead lion and the bees: 14:6, 8f.
* "They bound him with a rope" (first occurrence): 15:13
* The old jawbone, etc.: 15:15f.
* Samson told her, "Shave off my hair": 16:17
* "His strength became like a natural man": 16:19
* The final incident, where the blinded Samson is displayed before the Philistines, but has his revenge by pulling the building down on them, is told in 16:23-30. - RBW
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