Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Samson & The Lion record

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time at Kiddie Records Weekly lately. It features tons of records from the 1940s-50s made for children. They're all converted to mp3s, most of them only about seven minutes each, and free to be downloaded. Some are gems for their kitsch value, and some are just horrifyingly obnoxious. But there are some records that still hold up very well after all these years!
The most recent one that I listened to was "Samson and the Lion." If you're familiar with the story of Samson from the Bible, you probably remember what that's about. The record tells about how he killed the lion, and then the riddle that he made up about it to trick the Philistines.

With good narration and music, this sounds very much like anything you'd hear on the radio at the time this came out.

What is really odd to me is how the record ends.

Samson's Philistine wife, Delilah*, ferrets out the answer to the riddle, and gives it to the other Philistines. The loser of the riddle wager had to pony up 30 suits of clothing, and so when the Philistines answer his riddle, Samson has to pay up. And so, direct from the record:

"But the Lord had given Samson great strength for a purpose--to strike against those who denied God, the Philistines! And Samson did! He paid his wager, but the thirty garments he threw before them came from thirty men in the neighboring Philistine city of Ashkelon, thirty dead men. And who killed them? Samson!"

Now, that's quite true, but the story of Samson goes on to a rather much darker conclusion. Maybe the folks at Sacred Records thought that'd be an unfit ending for a kids' record.

Take six minutes out of your day, and listen to the record yourself here.
*Correction! It was not Delilah, but a different Philistine woman! Another brain-dead moment (and when you're naught but a brain in a jar, that's serious!) on my part! Thank you to Rob for catching it!


Rob said...

Wow! If Delilah was able to extract the riddle from Samson, then be burned to death by the Philisines, only later to cut his hair, she was truly a remarkable woman!

Allen's Brain said...

Ah yes! Quite so! The woman threatened with fire (and subsequently burned to death) was NOT in fact Delilah. It was a different, unnamed, Philistine girl. What's more, the record doesn't call her "Delilah," either. It was a senior moment on my part. Thanks for catching it!

Rob said...

It's just been so long since I've been in your presence to personally correct your heresy (as opposed to hearsay).