Who by Fire
Leonard Cohen Lyrics


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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?

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Leonard Cohen's song, Who by Fire, reflect on mortality and the unpredictability of death, exploring various ways in which different people may meet their end. The song asks the question, "who shall I say is calling?" suggesting that death is an enigma, an unknown force that calls upon us unexpectedly. Cohen mentions different elements such as fire, water, sunshine, night time, high ordeal, and common trial, indicating that death can come from different places and circumstances. Some individuals may die from slow decay or loneliness, while others may pass away from barbiturate overdose, love, hunger, or greed. The line "Who by his own hand" is particularly poignant, suggesting suicide as a cause of death.


The song's melancholy tone is accentuated by Cohen's deep, brooding voice and accompanied by somber instrumentals. The themes in Who by Fire are evergreen and resonate with many people as a reflection on the temporariness and fragility of life.


Line by Line Meaning

And who by fire, who by water
Who will perish by flames and who will be drowned?


Who in the sunshine, who in the night time
Who will meet their end in broad daylight or under the cover of darkness?


Who by high ordeal, who by common trial
Who will be tested by great challenges and who by everyday difficulties?


Who in your merry merry month of may
Whose fate will take them in the cheerful month of May?


Who by very slow decay
Whose life force will gradually wither away?


And who shall I say is calling?
Who is ultimately in charge of determining each person's fate?


And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate
Who will pass away in bed alone and who by their own hand through lethal drugs?


Who in these realms of love, who by something blunt
Who will meet their end through romantic passion or by something as seemingly innocuous as a blunt object?


Who by avalanche, who by powder
Who will be buried under an avalanche or snuffed out by gunpowder?


Who for his greed, who for his hunger
Who will be punished for their avarice and who for their insatiable appetite?


And who shall I say is calling?
Who is ultimately responsible for bringing about each person's demise?


And who by brave assent, who by accident
Who will die willingly and who due to unforeseen circumstances or chance events?


Who in solitude, who in this mirror
Who will pass away alone and who, perhaps metaphorically, by their own reflection or identity?


Who by his lady's command, who by his own hand
Who will be a victim of their lover's bidding or of their own self-inflicted wounds?


Who in mortal chains, who in power
Who will die in captivity, and who while wielding great influence and authority?


And who shall I say is calling?
Who is the ultimate arbiter of fate, regardless of social status or personal circumstance?




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: Leonard Cohen

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@moshebar-ness1926

.Lyrics
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,
And 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?
Songwriters: Leonard Cohen / Patrick Leonard
Who By Fire lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC



@purpleturtle6068

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ART!
ת.נ.צ.ב.ה May his soul be bound in the bundle of life
On Rosh HaShana they are written
And on Tsom Yom Kippur they are sealed.
How many shall pass, and how many created:
Who shall live and who shall die;
Who in their time and who not in their time;
Who by water
And who by fire;
Who by the sword
And who by a beast;
Who by hunger
And who by thirst;
Who by disaster
And who by sickness;
Who by strangling
And who by stoning;
Who will rest
And who will wander;
Who will be go peacefully
And who will go violently;
Who will be calm
And who will be harried;
Who will be poor
And who will be rich;
Who will be degraded
And who will be exalted.



@TheLuminitaSoare

Cine trece prin foc
Cine trece prin ape
Cine nu-i secerat de raze de soare
Cine se trece prin noapte,
Cine-şi depăşeşte încercările
Şi lună de lună zâmbeşte
Chiar dacă totul se dărâmă în el
Şi sufletu-i putrezeşte
Cum l-aş putea numi?
Cine are tăria
De a se sinucide
Cine trăieşte-n iubirea duşilor
Şi-n ei se regăseşte pe sine
Cine nu-i ucis de lavine
Cine se pudrează cu pământ
Cine poate trăi din gânduri
Şi umblă pe planetă flămând
Cum l-aş putea numi?
Cine se ridică din praf
Şi nu moare în accidente
Cine nu piere de singurătate
Şi nu mai are sânge de viaţă-n artere
Cine din porunca iubitei
Excelează un salt mortal
Cine trage cu energie
La picioare lanţuri de sclav
Cine ridică munţii din groapă
Cine râde cînd e bolnav
Cum l-aş putea numi?



All comments from YouTube:

@TheTransitmtl

I was listening to this non stop in my 20's. I have had the honor of crossing Mr. Cohen on a cold November morning on Ste-Catherine st. in Montreal. I didn't want to bother him so I just nodded and he nodded back and it was grandiose.

@TheBigChoad661

Louis-Alexandre Simard dude I would've asked em for a autograph and a beer with me lol.

@moondancer3157

I wouldn't have been able to keep myself from at least telling him how much I appreciate his music!🎶💕 Strange, though, I always just assumed he spent winters in the warmer climates.

@joshnovel7838

@@moondancer3157 That happened to me walking past John Waters coming out of The Club Charles in Baltimore.

@mnwalke

That is the best celebrity encounter story I have ever heard.

@mnwalke

@@moondancer3157 ever hear "Famous Blue Raincoat"?

"It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing to you just to see if you're better
New York is cold but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening..."

...and the song ends, "Sincerely, L. Cohen", so... :)

16 More Replies...

@nealhall5997

I wrote a book, and this was the foreward. I had to get permission and pay Leonard for the rights to use it. My publisher, who was also Leonard's publisher, had to call him and negotiate a price. Leonard charged me $200.

@wlfg1rl407

What’s the book?

@digitalwhiplash

Thank you for sharing. That is frickin awesome. And what is this book?

@dilandilan4570

Verilmek istenen mesaj nedir ?

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