“Samson and Delilah“ is a traditional song based on the Biblical tale of Samson and his betrayal by Delilah….and its best known performer is perhaps the Grateful Dead….who first performed the song live in 1976….with guitarist Bob Weir singing lead vocals…..as it was frequently played live by the Dead…..while the 1977 album Terrapin Station featured a studio recording of the song.
Although Weir learned the song from Reverend Gary Davis….when several earlier versions had been recorded under various titles, including “If I Had My Way I’d Tear the Building Down” and “Oh Lord If I Had My Way“ by Blind Willie Johnson in 1927…..while Rev. Gary Davis’s recording can be heard on the compilation album The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead. The song has since been performed by a wide variety of artists ranging from Elizabeth Cook, Charlie Parr, Dave Van Ronk, Ike and Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Clara Ward, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Washington Squares, Dorothy Love Coates & The Gospel Harmonettes, The Blasters, Willie Watson, and Bruce Springsteen….while Art Greenhaw recorded a version with The Jordanaires and Larry “T-Byrd” Gordon….which was released in 2005. As seen in this video herewith