Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Leonard Cohen, z''l (1934-2016). Barukh dayan emet.

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?

 - Leonard Cohen, “Who by Fire”

Leonard Cohen has passed away at the age of 82.

His song “Who by Fire” (lyrics above) is a rough paraphrase of U-netaneh Tokef, a prayer from the Jewish High Holiday liturgy which enumerates any number of the fates that may await each of us in the coming year. This, alas, was the year when fate caught up with Cohen... as it has with so many other beloved names in the music business.

Cohen’s songs were often covered by others (for “Hallelujah” the total may run into the thousands), but his unique gravelly voice provided the definitive texture for so many of them.

Fare you well, Lenny. You will be missed... and may your family and fans be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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