Song by Regina Spektor
from the album Songs/Begin to Hope
Recorded25 December 2001
  • 3:09 (Begin to Hope version)
  • 3:32 (music video version)
  • 3:54 (Songs version)
  • Self-released (Songs version)
  • Sire (Begin to Hope version)
Songwriter(s)Regina Spektor
  • Joe Mendelson (Songs version)
  • David Kahne (Begin to Hope version)
Music video
"Samson" on YouTube

"Samson" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, from her albums Songs and Begin to Hope. Despite having never been officially released as a single, it has charted in several countries, and is often considered one of Spektor's greatest songs.[1][2] As of 2009 it has sold 143,000 copies in United States. [3]

Background and composition

"Samson" was initially recorded as the first track for Spektor's second album Songs, which she recorded in one take on Christmas Day 2001.[4] In 2006, Spektor re-recorded the song for her album Begin to Hope, which, unlike Songs, had a major label backing.

Lyrically, "Samson" references the biblical episode of Samson and Delilah, found in Judges 16.[5][6] Samson was granted extraordinary physical strength by God, though his strength was held in his hair, without which he was powerless. He fell in love with Delilah, who, because of his lust for women, discovered his vulnerability, and used it against him.[6][7]

The song is composed in the key of B major. The earlier recording from Songs has a tempo of 76 beats per minute, whereas the Begin to Hope version was recorded at a significantly faster tempo of 90 beats per minute.[8] The song alters between bars of 6/4 and bars of 4/4.[9] Spektor's voice ranges from the low note of B3 to the high notes of D♯5.

Music video

"Samson" had an accompanying music video, despite not having been released as a single. The video was shot in almost black and white, and revolved around Spektor performing the song on a piano whilst paper designs pan over the camera.[10]


Despite not being released as a single, the Begin to Hope version of "Samson" charted in four countries, being Spektor's most charted single to date (along with "Fidelity").

Chart (2007) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 52
Belgium (Flanders) (Ultratop) 30
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 29
UK Singles Chart 174


"Samson" has been performed by the following contestants on reality singing competitions:


  1. ^ Porter, Brittany (November 29, 2014). "The 10 best Regina Spektor songs". AXS.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  2. ^ Mason, Wyatt (May 21, 2012). "The Eight Best Songs by Regina Spektor". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Leebove, Laura (June 6, 2009). "Bronx Tale". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2019 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Regina Spektor - Songs". Discogs. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  5. ^ "Samson by Regina Spektor". Songfacts.com. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Bible Gateway passage: Judges 16 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  7. ^ "Judges 16". Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  8. ^ Regina, Spektor (March 13, 2008). "Samson". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  9. ^ "Regina Spektor 'Samson' Piano". Scribd.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  10. ^ "Regina Spektor - "Samson" [Official Video]". YouTube. November 13, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2019.