Sunday, July 6, 2008

Song of the Week - Who by Fire by Leonard Cohen

I have 5,352 songs in my iTunes library, This is one of them.

Leonard Cohen is a complex singer-songwrite who has been recording since 1967. Prior to that he was a poet. He has released 11 albums between 1967 and 2004, and has a new album due out this year. His best known song is probably "Suzanne" from his 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen. It has been covered many times, most notably by Judy Collins. Cohen writes about difficult themes: love, hate, suicide, war, and the aloneness of people. He has a very deep voice, which has gotten deeper and raspier over the years. He has been one of my favorite performers since his first album. I got to see him live in a small theater outside Philadelphia in 1993.

There were a good number of songs on You Tube to choose from. I decided not to use "Suzanne" as it is well known. This song, "Who By Fire" is from his 4th album, released in August 1974 called New Skin for the Old Ceremony. I hope you like this song, and it you don't know Leonard Cohen, I hope this song inspires you to search out his work.

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?

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