What does Who by Fire mean?

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Leonard Cohen: Who by Fire Meaning


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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...


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    Dec 8th, 2013 12:58pm report

    I think Cohen is using the words of the "Day of Atonement" jewish prayer to ask himself repeatedly "who" is going to come and pick our lifes at their end, as well as "who" is going to die in one way rather than another. He is ironically describing this as if a phone operator was asking it. A long time mankind question.


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    Feb 20th, 2011 2:24pm report

    He is talking about the many ways death comes.

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