The Stories Behind The Songs on This Single
Thu., Jun. 15. 2023 3:29pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the stories behind the songs on our 12th single of 2023:
This song is a pivotal point in our forthcoming rock opera about the life of Samson. We all know that Delilah tricked him into telling her the secret of his strength, but she's not the one who actually cut his hair. As it says in Judges 16:19, "After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him."
The Bible doesn't tell us the name of the person who took care of that hair-razing task, but I once heard him referred to as "the Barber of Severe." We've sung about Samson's hair being cut before ("Enter Samson" and "Someone Shaved My Locks Tonight"), but those were recounted after the fact.
Moreover, we'd never looked at it from the perspective of the Philistines. Talk about a nerve-wracking assignment ... kind of like performing surgery on a tranquilized grizzly bear ... failure to finish in time could be fatal. It was a nightmarish situation for all involved, and the semi-sinister sound of Devo's "Whip It" matches the manic mood for me.
There have been other horrifying moments involving barbers since then in real life (the 1957 assassination of infamous mob boss Albert "The Mad Hatter" Anastasia), on the big screen (the 1972 movie The Godfather), and on stage (the 1979 Broadway musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), but Samson's remains the most memorable, which is really saying something when you consider the competition.
Ever since we released the "Octagon but Not Forgotten" medley in 2011, fans have been asking us to do full-length versions of the 10 parody snippets that comprise it. On May 30, 2023, after I finished recording vocals for a new spoof of "Whip It" called "Clip It" for our Samson rock opera, I realized it would be an ideal time to do a full-length version of "Wicked," which has always been one of my favorite parts of the medley.
After all, the music was already recorded, so I'd just need to do a new set of vocals. So I started working on new lyrics for the rest of the song to see how that would go. After Devo-ting some time to the endeavor, I was able to get them done a couple days before my next scheduled recording session, June 5.
The Bible verses alluded to in the last section of the song are: "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Hebrews 8:12), "When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways" (Acts 3:26), and "However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness" (Romans 4:5).
All of the instrumentation on our 2011 medley version was done by Bill Hubauer, primarily on keyboards (although he also played guitars on it), but this time around, the parts were played by Tom Tincha on guitars, Rich Mannion on keyboards, Keith Haynie on bass, and Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner on drums.