#941: ‘Samson’ – Regina Spektor

In 2006, Regina Spektor was pretty popular in a lot of alternative circles. Of course, I had yet again missed the boat on her music and would have to play catch up. I was forever hearing her name at the time, with people letting me know that her music was pretty nifty. I wasn’t one to be swayed solely based on public opinion, so I wanted to hear some of her work. Soon enough, I did, though it wasn’t performed by her.

In late 2006, I was in my high school music class. All of us were tasked with performing a solo of our own choosing. I, of course, was relatively amateur at my guitar playing, so I chose to play ‘Theme For Young Lovers’, a relatively easy track by The Shadows. Others played something a bit more challenging, and then some others still decided to upstage everyone by playing and singing their song.

Such was the case of one girl from my class. These days she plays music relatively professionally and she’s been doing quite a fine job. However, back in 2006, we were on the same page. It was her time to play her tune, and she decided to bring out Regina Spektor’s ‘Samson’. You know that feeling when you hear a song performed live, and you do everything you can to remember it so you can look it up later? This is exactly what happened when I heard her play this. (She also made me do the same thing with her subsequent performances of Spektor’s ‘Summer In The City’, and Coldplay’s ‘Amsterdam’.)

I looked up ‘Samson’ when I was home from school that day, and fell in love with it. While I’m aware that there was an earlier version of this track released on Spektor’s second record, Songs, in 2002, it’s the version from Begin To Hope that I’ve always loved.

Despite being one of her most well-known songs by fans, the song was sadly never released as a single. The delicate and tender nature of the song certainly resonates with many. Reportedly the song is about a boyfriend of Spektor’s who died from cancer (though I’ve not found official sources regarding this), and makes reference to the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah to portray the relationship between the two lovers in the song.

Delicate, tender, and full of emotion, this track is certainly one that fans of Spektor have long loved for a number of reasons, all of them correct.

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