Who By Fire

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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Fizzle
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 3:27 am

Who By Fire

Post by Fizzle » Fri May 21, 2004 3:34 am

Hey all. This is my first post here... I'm a guy from Rotterdam, Holland, but currently I'm staying in New York for a bit...

For a while I only owned the first two albums by Leonard Cohen, but after slowly falling in love with them more and more I started to check out more of his music lately. That's how I came across "Who By Fire", a song that's in my head 24 hours a day right now... I have a hard time understanding the meaning behind the lyrics though. Can someone help me out with that? I would appreciate that very much!

All the best,

Stefan
Anne
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Post by Anne » Fri May 21, 2004 1:02 pm

It is from a prayer from the Day of Atonement. You might find the information on this link interesting.

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/pilgraeme/who_by_fire.htm
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Fri May 21, 2004 1:33 pm

Welcome to the Forum, Stefan :D . I hope you'll continue to visit the Forum after you return to Holland 8) .

How long do you plan to be in New York? If your stay extends through at least June 11-13th, please come to the Event and meet with some of us during this unique chance to do so. See the details on this site, under New York Event 2004, by going to the main page.

Even if you can't make it, I hope you're enjoying New York.

~ Lizzy
pipkinra
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Post by pipkinra » Fri May 21, 2004 9:31 pm

Welcome Stefan.. Like you when I first heard Who By Fire I was mesmerized bye it and the imagery it invokes. Another song that has the same effect on me is 'God Is Alive Magic Is Afoot bye Buffy St. Marie. Discovering Leonard Cohen's music is like good wine an experience to be savored; something which you're obviously finding to be true. I second Lizzy's suggestion try to attend one of the events in New York.

Best regard... Pipkinra (alias Jim)
Fizzle
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Post by Fizzle » Sun May 23, 2004 9:28 am

Thanks Anne for the info and thanks Lizzy and Jim for the warm welcome. I'm in New York until the end of June, so I could visit the event, but to be honest I feel kinda weird about it. Eventhough Leonard Cohen is slowly 'climbing on the ladder' to become one of my favorite artists, I hardly know anything by him yet, so I'm not sure if this meeting would be for me?!... I wouldn't know what to say if you guys are sharing thoughts and ideas about him and his music...
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Sun May 23, 2004 2:56 pm

Hi Stefan ~

Pleeeeeease don't feel like you have to "keep up with the Jones's" when it comes to Leonard. It's perfectly fine to say that you're just learning about Leonard, and then listen and interject something whenever you feel inclined [which you will]. I've been listening to Leonard since 1970, and only a couple have given me a hard time because I hadn't heard one album and didn't recognize a song from it; didn't recognize a poem or a line of his; etc. It doesn't matter, Stefan, it doesn't matter. Life is about discovery 8) , and the joy of it :D .

When you fall in love with a woman, you don't expect to know all about her. People who have been married for 75 years, [ideally] don't know all there is to know about each other, and are still discovering. There are others who only recently discovered Leonard who will be coming. People will be glad that you cared enough to come at this juncture, and will be happy to share with you what they know/feel/speculate about Leonard and his work. Just be sincere and honest about your level of knowledge [which I already see you're fully capable of doing :D ]. You'll see that it will be a natural flow.

This is the ideal time for you to join in and discover more about Leonard in an absolutely unique way. This rare opportunity has literally been laid at your feet, and is not by accident. Synchronicity has brought you here. You'll see and hear things that you'll only see and hear in this setting. There will be discussions on his work that you can sit in on. You can see film footage of his [of him and by him]. You'll hear more of his songs. You'll meet people that you'll be glad and grateful that you've met, and with whom you'll have an abiding connection.

This is the year of Leonard's 70th birthday. The alternative to going is to not go, then find Leonard at or near the top of your ladder, and to regret having missed it. Please go to the Files and read the Event schedule. Please come to the Event and experience it.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth ~ I hope to see you there :D
Fizzle
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Post by Fizzle » Sun May 23, 2004 7:44 pm

Maybe you're right and maybe I should go. The father of a friend of mine always use to say: You never regret things you've done, you only regret things you didn't do...

Eitherway, I still got a couple of weeks to make up my mind, hehehe.
Arno
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Post by Arno » Sun May 23, 2004 7:58 pm

I would also suggest you go... I envy you since I live so far away and cant afford to cross the ocean even for Leonard ;)

so take advantage of your geographical situation and party!

Arno :wink:
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Mon May 24, 2004 2:13 am

Your father's friend was right, Stefan. Also, don't forget the old adage that "You only live once." I had a chance to go to Woodstock, and didn't for reasons that made sense. However, had I known how groundbreaking and awesome the event would be, I'd have figured out a way. So is Arno right. You're there. No flying/terrorist/expense/time off work/anti-U.S. [you're already here] issues. Splendid. Many would change places with you in a New York minute [a phrase we have here, meaning that ~ as New Yorkers move & speak so much quicker than the general population, so does their time]. The only expense you would incur would be the daily fee, plus whatever activities are to be charged for [see schedule for that info]. I don't know if limits apply after the Friday night thing, but you're probably okay to decide later. Still, making a commitment would definitely improve your chances for follow-through. For all you know, this could be the highlight of your trip to the States. I can assure you it's going to be something truly worthwhile. Hope to see you there.

~ Lizzy
pipkinra
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Post by pipkinra » Mon May 24, 2004 7:33 pm

Stefan, allow me to 2nd, 3rd, etc. all the reponses to your note about being undecided about attending the event. I myself admit that I waffled quite awhile before I decided to sign up. But having done so I'm glad I bit the bullet and did it. I've admired his music since I brought his first album in 1968 so I thought I'd give this a try. It's an opportunity to learn more about him and his music. Also with (at last count) 214 people attending there will no doubt be many people with whom you can connect. Whatever day you decide to attend (and we all hope you do) let us know and I'm sure everyone will make you feel welcome.

Regards, Jim.
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