What does Amen mean?

Search Login

Leonard Cohen: Amen Meaning


No tags, suggest one.

Get "Amen" on MP3:

Get MP3 from iTunes

Amen Lyrics

Tell me again
when I’ve been to the river
and I’ve taken the edge off my thirst
tell me again
we’re alone and I’m listening
I’m listening so hard that it hurts
tell me again
when I’m clean and I’m sober
tell me again
when I’ve seen...


    click a star to vote
    Oct 14th, 2019 10:09am report

    I hear “eye of the cam”, not camp. It rhymes with lamb. Sounds like a hashed metaphor from scripture. It’s harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel (cam) to go through the eye of a needle. He’s messing with it and says the culture must pass through the eye of the cam. Crazy? Maybe, but that’s what comes to my mind.


    click a star to vote
    Jan 7th, 2019 1:22am report

    Hey there,

    you may now in the mean time that "through the
    eye of the camp" might refer to "Auschwitz"
    where there was a gate were the victims came in bei train. In some foto it is looking like an eye.

    thanks for your translations!



    click a star to vote
    Jan 7th, 2019 1:21am report

    Hey there,

    you may now in the mean time that "through the
    eye of the camp" might refer to "Auschwitz"
    where there was a gate were the victims came in bei train. In some foto it is looking like an eye.

    thanks for your translations!



    click a star to vote
    Dec 9th, 2012 12:13pm report

    amen as a metaphor for the holocaust
    by identify » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:47 pm

    I believe that the lyrics of "Amen" powerfully express Cohen's use of metaphor for the Holocaust. A few of the expressions which in context lead me to this conclusion are:

    I've seen through the horror (the holocaust in Europe and genocides elsewhere)

    when the victims are singing (following repentance of perpetrators)
    laws of remorse are restored (which allows for repentance and restoration of humane values)

    you know what I'm thinking, (A victim will think harshly and vindictively)
    but vengeance belongs to the Lord (in the Biblical sense ..i.e., sermon on the mount)

    filth of the butcher ( Hitler, etc.)
    is washed in the blood of the lamb (the lamb as symbol of peace and love)

    day has been ransomed (humans have sold out to the butchers)
    and the night has no right to begin (not until purging of evil with accompanying repentance)

    When the angels are panting
    and scratching at the door to come in (the angels, eager to resume their functions of love and benevolence,
    only when the metamorphosis from evil to good through repentance has been attained.

    when the rest of the culture (civilization)
    has passed through the eye of the camp ( has recognized (eye) the brutality of concentration camps)

    Leonard repeats the expression "when I'm clean and II'm sober" in each stanza....I take this to mean that the only way he can cope with the "horror" is with
    alcohol and hard drug use. But, he will confront the "horror" when he is clean and sober and delineates the route of contrition.

    I am still undecided about the expressions "tell me that you, want..love...need..love me then. To whom is he addressing these requests? I initially felt that he was in a dialogue with a "deity".......but, from his religious upbringing and his broader education, he certainly would not attribute want and need to a Supreme Being. Rather, I believe he is pouring out his feelings to a collective female or one female...therefore, the use of the word "then"..because the sober Cohen is a great deal removed from the fun-loving Cohen "in closing time"


    click a star to vote
    Jun 24th, 2012 6:44pm report

    I'm not a very religious person, but I am Spiritual and compassionate. In this song, I think it is a beautiful prayer of desperation--a duel prayer to God. The writer sees the pain in the world--the war, the molestations, the hate. He's addicted to alcohol to ease the pain--"I've been to the river to take the edge off my thirst."
    "We're alone now, and I'm listening"--he wants to believe. He wants to believe that God will take away the pain and horror of the world, and hence, his personal pain. He wants God's love for himself and for the "children" of the world. amen.
    When victims are no longer slaughtered, and the murderers feel Remorse. When he no longer needs to feel vengeful at the horror, then tell me that You love me and that You want me to spread Your love.
    When I've wasted the day in drink, and I'm desperate for salvation. When Jesus has returned for judgement, and it's the end of days, then tell me again that you love me. amen

More Leonard Cohen song meanings »


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Freak anonymous
Natural anonymous
Sister Golden Hair Phayth
Revelations anonymous
The Hardest Part anonymous
Word Up! anonymous
Cough Syrup anonymous
Call It Fate, Call It Karma anonymous
Icarus anonymous
Valerie anonymous
26 anonymous
Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? anonymous
The Chain anonymous
Calling You anonymous
Hero anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Gone Too Soon
Andrew Jannakos
One Too Many
Keith Urban
My Boy
Elvie Shane
Waitin' On 5
Chris Janson
You Got It
Do What You Can
Bon Jovi
Mad At Disney
Salem Ilese
Image Of God
We Are Messengers