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

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
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dharma
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"Eye of the camp" line in "Amen"?

Postby dharma » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:22 am

Tell me again
When the filth of the butcher
Is washed in the blood of the lamb
Tell me again
When the rest of the culture
Has passed thru' the Eye of the Camp


Anyone got an interpretation of this lyric?
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jerry
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby jerry » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:33 am

Shouldn't it read cam?

_________
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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dharma
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby dharma » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:46 pm

It says Camp on the album liner notes.

The first image I had was of a concentration camp, but I was wondering what others thought?

Why the capital letters for Eye and Camp?
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby TipperaryAnn » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:50 pm

Leonard, having had an Irish Catholic nanny when he was a child, would be familiar with the saying attributed to Christ that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven . Sounds as if there might be some confusion here between CAMEL and NEEDLE though!

Get it, Jerry - tu = tune or tube, cam = camel ! :D

Later edit - I thought you were being mischievously witty, Jerry, since some of the final syllables on "Old Ideas" are inaudible, but maybe not! Did you actually mean cam, which is hardly a common abbreviation for camera, except in Webcam, etc. Eye of the Camp makes no sense at all. As for tune v. tube, I see some reviews quote one and some the other. Leonard is alive and well, luckily, and could be asked to clarify these ambiguities, but only someone with direct access to him can do so. Worth doing, surely, rather than allowing confusion to fester!
Last edited by TipperaryAnn on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:12 pm

My ears poved to be of cloth when it came to the tune vs tube controversy. But this is surely "cam" ~ as in "camera" is it not?
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby Stamatina » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:20 pm

I am pretty sure he says camp. I did hear the p before, but I went with the "eye of the cam" transcription, because I had no idea what "eye of the camp" might be. (I still don't, so anyone who can guess, please share your opinion with the public!)
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby surrender » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:01 pm

....maybe one of inspiration sources.......

There are many EYE CAMPS organized in India operating for free poor blind people with cataract.

There is even Eye Camp facebook.

an example of a camp: http://barsanaeyecamp.com/
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby LisaLCFan » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:30 pm

I definitely hear "camp" (in fact, Leonard kind of emphasizes the "p" right at the end, almost as an afterthought). "Cam" seems like the obvious word, but of course, Leonard likes to do this: we expect one word, he sings another. If it is, indeed, "camp", I would guess that it is a reference to "concentration camps" and perhaps Leonard is saying, Tell me again, when everyone else (other than the Jews who were there) understands the true horror of what went on in those camps (so, when everyone else--the rest of the culture--has seen through the eyes of the camp).

This is an amazing song, and I suspect we'll be mining its lyrics for years.
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby scocoh » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:44 pm

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Last edited by scocoh on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby holydove » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:40 am

The Eye is also a term used to refer to the center of a Black Hole, the gravity of which is so dense that nothing that enters into it can escape (not even light), except through Quantuum Tunneling - a phenomenon which exists because of wave-particle duality (here we are again, in the realm of Quantuum Theory!). Quantuum Tunneling is when a particle crosses a barrier that is doesn't have enough energy to cross, in Classical Mechanics, but with Quantuum Mechanics, there is a very small probability that it can, at some point, cross the barrier by "tunneling" through it, due to its "wave" characteristic. (That's my tiny understanding of it, anyway).

I also think Camp refers to "Concentration Camp", so according to the Black Hole interpretation, the Eye would be the "center" of the Camp - the center of suffering, pain, horror, etc.

Because the lyric is: ". . .PASSED through the Eye of the Camp" (rather than, potentially, "seen through. . .), I think it might refer to something other than just seeing/understanding the horror - it might be suggesting a more direct experience, by which one enter into it, cross a point of "no return", & then, by some infintesimal chance, or miraculous phenomenon, emerge on the "other side . . .(of sorrow & despair. . .)"
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby scocoh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:13 am

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Last edited by scocoh on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby Goldin » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:23 am

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.
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TipperaryAnn
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby TipperaryAnn » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:05 am

Any chance it was meant to be "eye of the calm", opposite of "eye of the storm" ? Would sound similar and LC has always liked using opposites. Rhymes with "lamb", too.
I suppose we're having fun thinking of all the possibilities!
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby astranger » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:21 am

Poems and Songs has it as "Eye of the cam."
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Re: Eye of the Camp

Postby TipperaryAnn » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:17 pm

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?
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