"Eye of the camp" line in "Amen"?

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
holydove
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby holydove » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:27 pm

Goldin wrote:I used to think he's singing "eye of the cam" (surely, without any capitalization).
When I learned it's Camp, my first (and the only) thought was about a concentration camp.
I believe it makes my feeling about this song more explainable. After a few listenings I was struck by the sence that it's the 2nd part of Dance Me to the End of Love.
Seriously, let's think about - Holocaust ("surroundings")... violin (music)...
waiting for her support -

Dance me
Tell me again

(well, as time goes by, no more dancing - ??)

OK, it's just my personal thinking. For me Amen is an Apocalyptic Dance Me.
Good observation, Goldin! It's a perfect sequel/part 2 to Dance Me!

Scocoh: I also had "eye of the storm" in mind; could be storm or black hole - both would carry the same implications.

I thought everyone knew that it was "cam" in the Everyman's Library/LC Poems & Songs - (the title in the book is also "Amen" -it's on P. 225). I assumed it was either a misprint in one of the transcriptions(which doesn't seem likely), or that Leonard changed it when he made the album.

I think "Camp" (if that's what it is & if the reference is concentration camp) is very powerful here, & it fits well with the previous two lines: ". . .when the filth of the butcher/ is washed in the blood of the lamb", as "butcher", while it could be a reference to any killer/killers of choice, could also be a reference to the Nazis.
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby astranger » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:30 pm

TipperaryAnn wrote:Thanks, Astranger - that's interesting. I tried to find the poem in "Stranger Music" - I remembered reading "the filth of the butcher is washed in the blood of the lamb", but haven't tracked it down yet - what is its title, please?
Well, the official website has it listed "Camp" so I guess that's what it is. As best I can recall, I don't remember coming across that line before "Amen" but it certainly is a classically familiar Cohen line.
Jake.........Durham, NC 11-3-09; Brooklyn, NY 12-20-12
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TipperaryAnn
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby TipperaryAnn » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:41 pm

holydove wrote: it was "cam" in the Everyman's Library/LC Poems & Songs - (the title in the book is also "Amen" -it's on P. 225). I assumed it was either a misprint in one of the transcriptions(which doesn't seem likely), or that Leonard changed it
Thanks for that info. holydove - found it now.
Forget your perfect offering -
There is a crack in everything...
JudasPriest
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Eye of the Camp

Postby JudasPriest » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:46 pm

I can hear the P now. He lingers on the M and then pops it out quietly
Steven
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby Steven » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:28 am

"Camp" makes sense to me as a group, a collective, and in terms of the context of the song, perhaps a group of
holy ones. Mark 10:25 says: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich
man to enter into the kingdom of God." If referring to a group of holy ones, for "the rest of the culture" to similarly pass through the "Eye of the Camp" would be as unlikely as a camel going through the "eye of a needle." "blood of the lamb" appropriates atoning, sacrificial language. The "rest of the culture," presumably won't bring itself to acceptance of such grace. The bible goes on to say "with God all things are possible." Leonard's song doesn't make that case nor does it argue against it.

That the "camp" could be a concentration camp, as others here have already said, sounds plausible. When "the
rest of the culture," experiences what a minority of the population does in terms of greatest suffering, it would
make sense that there'd be an amen to the devine voice saying that despite the expanded horror the
person is still wanted, even given the expanded hell of it all. If this is the way it is taken, the "eye" could be
a lookout tower and/or its modern day electronic and video camera equivalents. I'm currently favoring this
interpretation.
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby Steven » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:20 am

Hi,

Upon relistening to the song several more times specifically with this thread in mind, I can here a subtle "p"
in the word "camp." As I recall, it sounded as if the "p" may have been background vocalized. Whatever
the case, people hearing the track without benefit of the lyric sheet may very well think the word is
"cam." So, there's an inherent ambuiguity in the recording. Given Leonard's penchant for precision,
I'd posit that this was intentional, serving to further multiple interpretations and perceptions. -- It
got us wondering, certainly. Does it serve the song? I think so.
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tomsakic
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby tomsakic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:34 pm

astranger wrote:Poems and Songs has it as "Eye of the cam."
Yes. The lyrics in Old Ideas booklet and on his website are full of errors - I'd claim it is AWFUL editing -and Amen is messed up (somebody saving space with omitting all the repeats and choruses).

It should read "eye of the cam" and it fits logically.

Also, I am not sure about that "tube" in Going Home, sounds like "tune".
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Hartmut
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby Hartmut » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:47 pm

tomsakic wrote:It should read "eye of the cam" and it fits logically.
Well, ok; but, like Steven, I hear the letter "p" at the end of the word. - You have to crank up the volume quite high, though.
holydove
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby holydove » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:31 pm

Hartmut wrote:
tomsakic wrote:It should read "eye of the cam" and it fits logically.
Well, ok; but, like Steven, I hear the letter "p" at the end of the word. - You have to crank up the volume quite high, though.
I also hear the "p" at the end, very clearly, & it sounds very deliberate. My guess is that it was "cam" originally, & then Leonard changed it when he recorded the song. One can't know if he planned the change in advance, or if it was a spontaneous inspiration, while he was singing, but the "p" is definitely there. As for meaning, both "cam" & "camp" lend themselves to interesting interpretation, though I think "camp" is a more powerful image.
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Hartmut
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby Hartmut » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:44 pm

holydove wrote: My guess is that it was "cam" originally, & then Leonard changed it when he recorded the song. One can't know if he planned the change in advance, or if it was a spontaneous inspiration, while he was singing

Yes, that's quite possible.
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tomsakic
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby tomsakic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:49 pm

Well, the album song was recorded in 2007, and lyrics in the book printed in 2010.
holydove
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby holydove » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:13 am

tomsakic wrote:Well, the album song was recorded in 2007, and lyrics in the book printed in 2010.
Yes, I thought of the fact that the song was recorded in 2007, & actually, the copyright for Amen is 2011. But he could have actually written the poem long before 2007, & anyway, he still could have changed it at the time of the recording, whether it was before or after the printing of the poem. Not that I'm attached to the word being either "cam" or "camp" - I'm happy with either word - it's just that the "p" sound is very audible to me, so I'm not convinced that it's a mistake in the CD booklet, & I don't know how else one would explain the "p" sound being there; I doubt that the "cam" is a mistake in the book, & I doubt that the "p" sound is some kind of audio/vocal accident, so. . .???
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby tomsakic » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:36 pm

Leonard's manager Mr. Kory has confirmed it is "eye of the camp" in "Amen" and "elaboration of a tube" in "Going Home", as printed in the booklet and on LeonardCohen.com.
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Hartmut
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Re: "Eye of the camp" line in "Amen"?

Postby Hartmut » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:03 pm

Leonard's manager Mr. Kory has confirmed it is "eye of the camp" in "Amen" and "elaboration of a tube" in "Going Home", as printed in the booklet and on LeonardCohen.com.
Thanks for clearing that up.

This has been almost as exciting as the search for the correct transcriptions of "Born in Chains" ("hammered cup" and "sensual illusion"). :-)
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tomsakic
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Re: "Eye of the camp" line in "Amen"?

Postby tomsakic » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:49 am

Well I guess we will know the final version of "Born in Chains" when next album comes out... ;P

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