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Music Discussions

Hey There Delilah
05/09/2006

July 16, 2007

Main Point of Discussion:
Healthy relationships with the opposite sex should not be based on selfishness and pure physical attraction.

The Music Video: Hey There Delilah

Plain White T's is a pop-rock/punk-pop band from Villa Park, Illinois that has released four full-length albums: Come On Over (2001), Stop (2002 Fearless Records), All That We Needed (2005 Fearless Records), Every Second Counts (2006 Hollywood Records/Fearless Records). Their current smash hit ‘Hey There Delilah’ seems to be on the minds and mouths of nearly every teen in America. It is currently #1 on the Billboard top ten and the most downloaded song on iTunes.

At THE SOURCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY we like to use pop culture references to start Biblical conversation (just like the Apostle Paul used culture to start conversations about Jesus in Acts 17). This music video might be a good discussion starter in some circles. Use your discernment.

If you want, you can print out the lyrics (below) and give each student a copy to refer to.

MTV.com has the video on their site for free right now and iTunes offers the video as a download for $1.99. Ask the tech guy at your church how to play the video on a laptop through a projector.

Introducing the Music Video:
Many of you have probably seen the video or heard the song called ‘Hey There Delilah’ by Plain White T’s. It is burning up the charts and getting uber airplay on stations across the nation. Tonight we’re going to take a closer look at the song and what it has in common with a story in the Bible that could have been called ‘Hey There Delilah’.

Pass out a handout with the lyrics on it.

Song Lyrics:
    "Hey There Delilah"

    Hey there Delilah
    What's it like in New York City?
    I'm a thousand miles away
    But girl tonight you look so pretty
    Yes you do
    Times Square can't shine as bright as you
    I swear it's true

    Hey there Delilah
    Don't you worry about the distance
    I'm right there if you get lonely
    Give this song another listen
    Close your eyes
    Listen to my voice it's my disguise
    I'm by your side

    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    What you do to me

    Hey there Delilah
    I know times are getting hard
    But just believe me girl
    Someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar
    We'll have it good
    We'll have the life we knew we would
    My word is good

    Hey there Delilah
    I've got so much left to say
    If every simple song I wrote to you
    Would take your breath away
    I'd write it all
    Even more in love with me you'd fall
    We'd have it all

    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me

    A thousand miles seems pretty far
    But they've got planes and trains and cars
    I'd walk to you if I had no other way
    Our friends would all make fun of us
    and we'll just laugh along because we know
    That none of them have felt this way
    Delilah I can promise you
    That by the time we get through
    The world will never ever be the same
    And you're to blame

    Hey there Delilah
    You be good and don't you miss me
    Two more years and you'll be done with school
    And I'll be making history like I do
    You'll know it's all because of you
    We can do whatever we want to
    Hey there Delilah here's to you
    This ones for you

    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    Oh it's what you do to me
    What you do to me.
Transitional Statement:
Talk to the group about why they think this song is so popular and how it seems to connect with so many people. Then say something like:

“Hey There Delilah” has definitely struck a chord with many people for probably many reasons. One of the stronger themes that’s in the song is about his commitment to Delilah and how much value he places on the relationship.

Show the video, then divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups to discuss this video, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, let’s go around the circle and name famous couples from history and TV/Movies. I’ll start…


  2. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Who are some of your favorites? Why? What made them so famous?


  3. ASK A FEW: Would you put lead singer Tom Higgenson and Delilah in a ‘famous’ category? Why or why not?


  4. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Why are songs about relationships so popular?


  5. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Are most songs/stories about healthy relationships or unhealthy? Why?


  6. Say something like: As I mentioned earlier, there’s a story in the Bible that could have been called ‘Hey There Delilah’. Let’s see what happened.

    Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Judges 16:3-21
      Some time later Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in the valley of Sorek. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “Entice Samson to tell you what makes him so strong and how he can be overpowered and tied up securely. Then each of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”

      So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes you so strong and what it would take to tie you up securely.”

      Samson replied, “If I were tied up with seven new bowstrings that have not yet been dried, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

      So the Philistine rulers brought Delilah seven new bowstrings, and she tied Samson up with them. She had hidden some men in one of the inner rooms of her house, and she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson snapped the bowstrings as a piece of string snaps when it is burned by a fire. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

      Afterward Delilah said to him, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now please tell me how you can be tied up securely.”

      Samson replied, “If I were tied up with brand-new ropes that had never been used, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

      So Delilah took new ropes and tied him up with them. The men were hiding in the inner room as before, and again Delilah cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But again Samson snapped the ropes from his arms as if they were thread.
      Then Delilah said, “You’ve been making fun of me and telling me lies! Now tell me how you can be tied up securely.”

      Samson replied, “If you were to weave the seven braids of my hair into the fabric on your loom and tighten it with the loom shuttle, I would become as weak as anyone else.”

      So while he slept, Delilah wove the seven braids of his hair into the fabric. Then she tightened it with the loom shuttle. Again she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!” But Samson woke up, pulled back the loom shuttle, and yanked his hair away from the loom and the fabric.

      Then Delilah pouted, “How can you tell me, ‘I love you,’ when you don’t share your secrets with me? You’ve made fun of me three times now, and you still haven’t told me what makes you so strong!” She tormented him with her nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it.

      Finally, Samson shared his secret with her. “My hair has never been cut,” he confessed, “for I was dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as anyone else.”

      Delilah realized he had finally told her the truth, so she sent for the Philistine rulers. “Come back one more time,” she said, “for he has finally told me his secret.” So the Philistine rulers returned with the money in their hands. Delilah lulled Samson to sleep with his head in her lap, and then she called in a man to shave off the seven locks of his hair. In this way she began to bring him down, and his strength left him.

      Then she cried out, “Samson! The Philistines have come to capture you!”

      When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the LORD had left him.

      So the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.

  7. ASK SOMEONE: Do you think Samson was really in love with Delilah? Why or why not?


  8. ASK A FEW: What were Delilah’s motives in her relationship with Samson?


  9. ASK SOMEONE: Why did Samson keep lying to her about the secret of his strength?


  10. ASK A FEW: What are the similarities/differences between this Delilah and the one in the video?


  11. ASK A FEW: What are the similarities/differences between this relationship and the one in the video?


  12. Say something like: These two ‘Hey There Delilah’ stories show us a lot about healthy and unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex. In the Plain White T’s song, he is willing to wait for Delilah and even walk a thousand miles for her. You can tell that while he’s attracted to her physically, he also cares about her as a person and values the relationship as one of his highest priorities. In our story from the Bible, Samson is obviously driven by a physical motive (see Judges 16:1-2- earlier he had slept with a prostitute before he met Delilah). Not only that, but her motives revolved around using him to get what she wanted out of life- obviously greed and selfishness were behind her feelings of ‘love’.

  13. ASK SOMEONE: We don’t know what happened to Delilah after she betrayed Samson, but do you think she had any regrets? Why or why not?


  14. ASK SOMEONE: How do you think Samson felt after he was caught? (His version of ‘Hey There Delilah’ would go something like “Oh- it’s what you DID to me!”)


  15. *Optional Activity: Have the groups rewrite ‘Hey There Delilah’ from Samson’s point of view. You’ll probably get hilarious results and the students will connect with the story on a deeper level.

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some of the differences we’ve learned about between healthy and unhealthy relationships?


  17. AROUND THE CIRCLE: When it comes to dating and relationships with the opposite sex, we all have a choice to approach them like Samson and Delilah or Todd and Delilah. If you choose the Samson/Delilah route of selfish motives and purely physical attraction, it will not end well. But if we approach these situations with a Biblical attitude, it will be a much better experience. Here’s a passage from the Bible that sums up what we’re talking about.


  18. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Philippians 2:3
      Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

  19. ASK SOMEONE: How were Samson and Delilah being selfish and trying to impress others? How are Tom Higgenson and Delilah not being selfish and not trying to impress others?


  20. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Can you think of one or two ways you can apply this principle in the relationships you have right now?

Close group in prayer.

Wrap Up:

Tonight we watched a wildly popular video by Plain White T’s and read a story from the Bible, both about girls named Delilah- but both with very different elements. One was about committed love and affection from self-sacrificing motives, and the other was about lust and greed from selfish motives. Tonight I want to give you a chance to think about the relationships you are in, and ask God to help you approach them with the Biblical attitude of considering others more important than yourself. There may also be some who are looking for perfect love in people when it really can only be found in a relationship with God. Tonight I want to give you a chance to change that.


Give the group a chance to reflect and pray in silent for a few minutes, then close in prayer and an invitation for students to trust Christ.

Written By Lane Palmer

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Comments on this post

   Kevin Janofski         2/13/2012 1:29:12 PM

Great stuff! I'm gonna use a bunch of this for our youth group valentine's day spectacular lol this wednesday! thank you for posting!!

   Shawn HOrnsby         2/2/2011 9:20:28 AM

Thanks for offering this look into relationships. We forget how deeply these mini love affairs our teenagers engage in affect them.

   Jamie Adams         1/19/2011 11:58:14 AM

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