Concentration Moon
Over the camp in the valley
Concentration Moon
Wish I was back in the alley
With all of my friends,
Still running free:
Hair growing out
Every hole in me
AMERICAN WAY
How did it start?
Thousands of creeps
Killed in the park
AMERICAN WAY
Try and explain
Scab of a nation
Driven insane
Don't cry
Gotta go bye bye
SUDDENLY: DIE DIE
COP KILL A CREEP! pow pow pow

GARY KELLGREN: Tomorrow I get to do another Frank Zappa creation . . . and the day after that . . . and the day after that . . . also at the same time I get to work with The Velvet Underground which is as shitty a group as Frank Zappa's group

JCB: Hi, boys & girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group

Concentration Moon
Over the camp in the valley
Concentration Moon
Wish I was back in the alley
With all of my friends,
Still running free:
Hair growing out
Every hole in me
AMERICAN WAY
Threatened by US
Drag a few creeps
Away in a bus
AMERICAN WAY
Prisoner: lock
SMASH EVERY CREEP
IN THE FACE WITH A ROCK

Don't cry
Gotta go bye bye
SUDDENLY: DIE DIE
COP KILL A CREEP! pow pow pow


Lyrics submitted by ThreeMilesDown

Concentration Moon song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentManzanar. Google it.
    futatoriuson December 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow..does no one own We're Only In It For The Money? its a fantastic cd. if you're a zappa fan that is,
    TransparentSunChildon December 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentseems to be a parody of the US
    Fabricsoftneron April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMost likely, as with most of WOIIFTM, a criticism of America in the 1960's - especially the hippie culture. The title may refer to JFK's commitment to the Space Program & NASA; " a man on the moon by the end of this decade"

    At th time police were pissed off at dealing with hippies - many who were spoiled middle class kids rebelling against a society that provided them with much. Not that I'm advocating cops beating on kids or that the USA was perfect.

    If you read the lyrics without thinking of the melody the protagonist may have been drafted: He's over the camp in the valley (boot camp), while his hippie buddies are all hanging out in the alley back at home getting stoned.

    Then again "the valley" can stand for an area in LA suburbs - Frank is always talking about the sub-culture around that area (from FREAK OUT all the way to Moon singing "Valley Girl" in the 80's),
    mageestouton March 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFrom what I understand, at the time that Zappa wrote these lyrics (late 1967/early 1968), several of the detainment camps, or "concentration" camps (as in concentrating people into a specific location) into which Japanese-American citizens were herded during WWII had yet to be demolished. He believed that politicians, especially governors--specifically Ronald Reagan--had not given the public a good reason why all of the camps had not been eliminated. He was suspicious: After all, if law abiding citizens could be forced into these camps 20-odd years earlier on the basis of their DNA, what was to stop a group of overzealous and fearful politicians from filling the camps with people based on their "seditious" political beliefs? This might sound paranoid, but remember that this was the late sixties, with its numerous inner-city riots, assassinations of prominent political figures, violent civil rights confrontations, anti-Vietnam War protests and so on.

    The barbershop quartet that sings the verse "concentration moon/over the camp in the valley," etc. are former hippies/long-hairs who have been corralled into one of these camps. They are singing a melancholy tune to the moon that shines over their camp (the Concentration [Camp] Moon). The fact that Zappa chose such a maudlin musical cliche--the moon as an emblem of romantic longing, as in Blue Moon; Tennessee Moon; The Moon Shines Bright, and too many other songs to mention here--only amplifies the satire and makes it more caustic.

    The lines "with all of my hair still flowing free/hair growing out every hole in me" alludes to one of the first things that happened to prisoners in Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, etc.: they had their heads shaved. The hippies/inmates miss their long hair and equate it with their lost freedom. While this might seem like a gross exaggeration, not to mention an inappropriate analogy, think about it. What would have been one of the first things to happen to incarcerated long-hairs had Zappa's ugly fantasy become a reality?

    The rest of the song is not satirical at all. "American Way/try to explain/ scab of a nation driven insane" and "cop kill a creep/ pow pow pow" are about direct as lyrics get. The juxtaposition of satire with naked despair make for a memorable, if not necessarily pleasant, song.
    pcb1000on January 26, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI love this song. It's an angry comment on Police Brutality from the point of view of a bunch of Hippies...circa 1967. The conservative american establishment didn't like the hippies and their itinerant lifestyles and came down on them like a ton of bricks (Kent state, Ronald Reagan's condemnation of them).

    I love the romantic imagery of this song...A hippie camp in a Steinbeck style Californian Valley under the light of a harvest moon...sitting round a camp fire singing songs under the stars, snuggling up to your sweetheart, smoking pot and lamenting how the police drove us out of town because they don't understand our lifestyle.......
    BarnabyHugheson October 15, 2015   Link

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