“For Delilah, Forgiveness” Playlist
So there are three ballads that sort of separate the distinct sounds of the uptempo songs on the MEMOIRS OF A MANWHORE: THE REELING WALTZ OF A DRUNKEN LOTHARIO album. “Hotel by the River” is the first: it’s the standard pop/country love ballad, powerful in its way and relatable to ordinary scenarios in ordinary lives. Then there’s the epic ballad of “For Delilah, Forgiveness.” Like “Hotel,” “Delilah” is steeped in Biblical allusion. In this instance, the storyline is that of Samson and Delilah. I was originally inspired to compose this song by Regina Spektor’s “Samson,” although at the time I had no idea that her song was actually about a friend suffering the side-effects of chemotherapy for cancer.
In my song, Samson is explaining that he had had everything that everybody dreams of — power, fame, strength — but that he had wearied of these things and was ready for what he had never been able to have: an ordinary life. He invented the story that his hair held the key to his strength so that he could be “tricked” into cutting his hair off and never having to live that life again. Delilah herself is blameless, except insofar as that she is the reason that he wishes to leave behind his life of celebrity.
Obviously, Ms. Spektor’s song is included in this list. So are some artists who have created similarly “epic” ballads, either through arrangement, subject matter, or vocal delivery. Josh Groban is here with “Evermore.” Elton John appears three times, with “Believe,” “Ticking,” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me.” Likewise the Bee Gees (often remembered only for their contributions to the disco canon, but inarguably great balladeers themselves) with “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Odessa (City on the Black Sea),” and “Run to Me.” Paul Simon’s “Renee and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War” moves me in the same way that Regina Spektor’s song does with its intimate portrayal of the inner lives of its protagonists. Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” is equally personal and poignant. Marc Cohn’s “True Companion” is a wedding favourite (in fact, I’ve even sung it at the wedding of two friends), and Billy Joel’s “The Night is Still Young” is one of his best songs that nobody seems to recall, and definitely one of his most epic-sounding ballads. Tori Amos’s “Silent All These Years” has a defiant proclamation of a chorus and soaring orchestral backing. Mandy Patinkin delivers perhaps the definitive version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Being Alive” in my book, and New Radicals deliver one of the most gut-wrenching songs of 1999, “Someday We’ll Know.” And Stevie Nicks’s “Beauty and the Beast” closes the set; it’s a song that I once performed at my high school talent show in the 80s, and it is absolutely epic in its scope and delivery.
You can listen to the music at this Spotify link for free. Listen multiple times because it’s awesome, but also because I’ll get about a half a penny for each play my original song receives.
So if you share it with a million friends who all listen, I’ll receive $5000 three months from now, which will be just in time to cover the reproduction costs of my next album, assuming somebody manages a million plays of another song of mine as well to cover the recording costs because making music isn’t free, even if you can hear it for free on every platform on earth!
FOR DELILAH, FORGIVENESS LYRICS
If the stories all related the tale of a man who fell at a woman’s hands, a nation sold into the bonds of other lands, remember that allegories sometimes fail. Allegories sometimes fail to discern the many from the few and understand the one the way we understood us two.
I could tell it all if I had the mind of the time before I was weak and blind, of the strengths that drain and the fears that bind and the blame the history books would find. But I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you.
When I first met you my hair was long. The world was mine for a pose and a song. The radiant one, I could do no wrong. I wrestled the lion and slew the throng. No, I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you.
You saw a burden I could not bear, a sorrow no one else could see me wear. You conjured a lie about the length of my hair, shorn my strength as I straddled my chair. But I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you.
Out of the devourer, something to eat. Out of the strong, something so sweet. I was honeycomb and hive. It devoured me alive.
If one hand the mind, one could compel me the story of my demise to tell, of Ashkelon and Israel, that by my hands the columned temple fell. But I don’t blame you, I don’t blame you.
The choices I made for my sanity, price paid for a moment’s serenity, the acclaim degraded to mockery for loving all too selfishly. No, I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you. I gave it all up willingly. I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you.
The only thing came easily -- I don’t blame you; I don’t blame you.