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Lyric Music

Sympathy for the Devil

The Rolling Stones

Album Beggars Banquet

” ” is one of The Rolling Stones’ most controversial but popular songs. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (known as Jagger/Richards in song writing credits). From their 1968 album “Beggars Banquet”, “Sympathy for the Devil” is the opening track out of 10 track album.

The reason for the song’s controversy comes from the lyrics and title of the track. The song is sung in first person, with Mick Jagger pretending to be Satan. He references famous events in history that could be perceived as “works of the devil”, such as John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jagger has previously stated that his inspiration for the song was from French poet Charles Pierre Baudelaire and Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita”. The track, among other previous albums and previous songs, brought concerns to the media and the public of band being “devil-worshippers” and influencing younger audiences. In an interview with “Creem” which was a rock n’ roll magazine in the late 1960’s to the late 1980’s, Jagger said: “When people started taking us as devil worshippers, I thought it was a really odd thing, because it was only one song, after all. It wasn’t like it was a whole album, with lots of occult signs on the back. People seemed to embrace the image so readily [and] it has carried all the way over into heavy metal bands today.” In 1971, Keith Richards stated his point of view in an interview in 1971 with Rolling Stone magazine. “There are black magicians who think we are acting as unknown agents of Lucifer and others who think we are Lucifer. Everybody’s Lucifer.”

There is no official music video for the song, but their label uploaded an official lyric video for the track on the 15th November 2018. It has 1.5 million views.

Release Date: 6th December 1968

Songwriter/s: Jagger/Richards

Producer/s: Jimmy Miller

Label: Decca

Certifications: Certified Gold in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Added by Tala Woods

  • Share:

    Jeremy Kai DeSpain

    November 5, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Just goes to show how powerful the human mind can be. It can make the worst of the best or the best of the worst. People are so scared to look at themselves, what they believe in and why they continually divert from thier own lives to try and control everyone elses. If I choose to worship an egg mccmuffin and am not harming anyone in doing so, I am the only one who has to answer to God about it. People who condemn others are obviously weakly convicted to anything except possibly the “DEVIL”

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    October 16, 2020 at 12:40 am

    Great article.

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