I once taught the story of Adam and Eve to a Sunday School class of young children. When I asked the group why Adam took the apple from Eve, one 8-year old boy shouted, "Duh. Because she was naked." And from the mouth of babes was spoken an ancient theological and mythological theme: the woman is the temptress.
Years later, I revisited yet another story in which a man is stripped of his holiness by the temptation of a woman: the story of Samson. In this story, Samson is the strongest man alive, and the secret to his strength is his holy dedication, represented by his uncut hair. God tells him that if he ever cuts his hair, his strength will instantly vanish. Samson's enemies send Delilah to discover the source of his strength, and over long lovers' nights together, he slowly tells his secrets to her. Knowing she is there to ultimately destroy him, he still reveals his vulnerability.
What I enjoyed most about this song is that on the final verse, the backup singers (oh wait, that's me, vocals stacked) sing a theological mystery with the lyrics, "cut my hair, please." You see, I think that Samson isn't another story about the female as temptress, but rather a story of a man who has chosen to let himself fall, even knowing the dire consequences.
Or then again, it could be the 8-year old's philosophy that's more astute than my own.
Samson - Vocals, keys: Sherilyn; Drums: Eric Eagle; Bass: Clint Hoyler; Guitars, Hammond, backing vocals: Johnny Sangster; Backing Vocals: Mark Pickerel & Matt Garvais
Delilah - Painting above by Sherilyn Segrest