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Who By Fire Lyrics

Who By Fire Lyrics by Leonard Cohen

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And who by fire, who by water,
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
Who in your merry merry month of May,
Who by very slow decay,
And who shall I say is calling?

And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
Who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
Who by avalanche, who by powder,
Who for his greed, who for his hunger,
And who shall I say is calling?

And who by brave assent, who by accident,
Who in solitude, who in this mirror,
Who by his lady’s command, who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains, who in power,
And who shall I say is calling?

Enjoy This Video of Who By Fire Lyrics Sung by Leonard Cohen

Some Interesting Facts About Who By Fire Lyrics and Meaning

“Who By Fire” is a song based on a prayer recited on the Jewish Day of Atonement. That prayer in itself has an interesting background. The popular story is that Rabbi Amnun urged by the rulers of Myencae to change his faith, asked to be given three days to consider. When he failed to appear after the three days he was sought out and arrested. Forced to plead guilty his hands and feet were cut off as a punishment. On the new year, Rabbi Amnun was brought to the synagogue at his own request and recited the prayer-poem, ‘Let Us Tell’. Having recited it, he died.

Who By Fire lyrics are about one certain reality – we are all going to die. Some die happily, others in misery; some will die attempting great things, others alone and desolate; some by their own hand, others by the hand of someone else. There are so many circustances have led to the death of so many millions and each one could have their own story to tell. When that ultimate day arrives it asks the listener – when you die and stand before God, the question will be “Who should I say is calling?”

Leonard writes in layers of meaning. The very nature of poetry means that many of those layers are personal to the reader, not just the poet. We each see what we see. And we also look through each others eyes. Leonard makes use of an ancient tradition within Judaism, known as Midrash – literally, “stories” quite often. This is an expansion on the words within the sacred writings, and liturgy. It is a tradition that brings mere words to a personal level. It explains the unexplainable.

 

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