Saturday, 17 April 2010

And History Books Forgot About Us

And the Bible didn't mention us. Not even once.

- Samson, Regina Spektor

You know what I love about the Bible? Not JUST that it's the love-letter and instruction guide from my savior, (though that's most of it :D) but because it's an overwhelmingly awesome source of story/character ideas. Of course, most of the stories are well known, but, author friendlies, we can use that. Know how?

In Samson, Regina Spektor tells an absolutely beautiful love story, with a twist in the famous Samson Delilah story. In this story, Samson is willing to become a mere man, and at the end, the pillars didn't break. Lyrics here.

I love love love love love love LOVE this. Because the pillars didn't break. Because the Bible didn't mention them. Because history forgot about them. There was a promise - a promise because we know that we've heard the story a million times - that they're remembered, that the pillars came crashing down. And Regina Spektor shatters it. No, she says, that's not how it happened.

Amidst the geneologies, rules, passover festival instructions (it's explained like 8 different times... sheesh), and religion in the Bible, there are the stories of true human life. Fierce, powerful, undiluted by poetic prose, simply stated. Unless, of course, you read Song of Songs, which is a whole different story.

But the Bible contains the most beautiful and most aweful aspects of man. Incest rape (Amnon and Tamar), careless promises that result in an innocent's death, betrayal, blood-lust. A king's son giving up his claim to the throne, his family's affections, and giving everything that belongs to him to his best friend, for the sake of love (Jonathan and David.) The patience of Job. The answer of God.

There are so many oppertunities for 'what if' here.

Herman Melville said that whatever was most wonderful in a man has yet to be put into words. I disagree. (Although I love the quote, because it inspires me. :D)

Regina Spektor's song Samson never fails to inspire me. I feel shaken when I listen to it, because of the powerful history of the original story (which I've known for as long as I can remember) and the tragic, beautiful poetry she adds with the 'what if.'


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