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The Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil - Lyrics Meaning

Though The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" may appear to be a celebration of Lucifer or Satanism at first glance, further inspection reveals that the song is really a condemnation of the atrocities perpetrated by man against his fellow men. The song makes reference to several of histories greatest tragedies. It refers to the crucifixion of Christ, the Russian Revolution and murder of the Romanov family ("I stuck around St. Petersburg..."), and World War II ("I rode a tank / Held a generals rank / When the blitzkrieg raged"). The track also discusses the 100 Years' War and the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1995, the band's singer, Mick Jagger, commented that he was influenced by Bob Dylan and the French poet Charles Baudelaire while writing the song. The lyrics also bear a resemblance to a novel called The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulhakov. Jagger's girlfriend at the time, Marianne Faithfull, gave him the book as a gift. "Sympathy for the Devil" opened The Rolling Stones' album Beggars Banquet, which was released in 1968. It made it to the thirty-second place on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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