The Rolling Stones: Sympathy for the Devil Meaning
Song Released: 1969
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Sympathy for the Devil Lyrics
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith
And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that...
anonymous Oct 16th, 2016 10:41pm report
There's 2 meanings for this song. The first being that Lucifer the devil is telling about what he's done throughout history. Wars, deaths, assassinations, and other evil things. He's telling you that you don't have to like him but you should at least respect him or else. The second possible meaning is that YOU the listener are the "devil". That god and the devil don't exist that we the human race alone did those things. "Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints" refers to that no matter how "good/holy" we think we are we're still have the possibility to become a evil monster. We still can become the devil.
anonymous Oct 16th, 2016 10:54pm report
The song is basically saying that people blame the Devil for all the bad stuff in the world, but in reality, it's the people themselves.
anonymous Mar 17th, 2012 3:27pm report
Have Sympathy for the Devil because THE DEVIL IS YOU !
Forgive yourself for YOU are the root of good and evil
Whats my name? the devil asks
its your name fill in the blank..........
anonymous Apr 10th, 4:54am report
Just would like to add... When Lucifer got expelled from heaven God changed his name from Lucifer to Satan... I'm sure the author of the lyrics knew this... It's a brilliant track and serious balls are needed to produce something like this, especially for its time... Funny how the gestapo tripped on classical music... and our hero bands of today like Metallica and Guns and Roses are often labeled as satanic? I love truth, God , and Rock & Roll!! Praise God for our wise musicians (prophets according to me...)
anonymous Feb 13th, 2:05am report
Lucifer is bragging that all the horror mankind has brought on to itself was his influence that made men turn from god. Since god only banished him and let him loose on mankind its like a competition with god for souls. We better get a clue cause it seems he is actually going to be front and center sooner than we realize. So much hate has consumed us for as long as god gave us free will.i have met lucifer and was easily influenced to the darkness.thankfully becoming close to dying from self inflicted disease I saw the truth and got back to god. If and when I meet lucifer again I will treat him like I would treat anyone cause I know his tricks
anonymous Jul 13th, 2018 7:09pm report
I agree with the previous, The Screwtape Letters to a T
anonymous Nov 6th, 2017 11:00am report
Devil lore describes his ability to take any shape that will seduce his victim to follow him. Pontius Pilate was lured to follow the people who clamored for Christ's execution; Marxist/Leninism lured the communists into their bloody revolution; the power of murder and high rank lured the Nazis to destroy their own country; each section cites a lure and a fish that swallowed a hook and suffered.
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
anonymous Jun 14th, 2016 6:16pm report
I' am trying to think from a brotherly CHRIST like conscious perspective that part of this song was[is] about understanding and feeling sorry for the sinner with patience, love and sympathy, while we should be on guard and hateing the sin committed who has been influenced by evil programming of his ego mind by the evil sins of the Elite Racists to use ''RE-LEGION'' on the fragile sheep like minds to crack and divide us to even kill ourselves. Then go figure out why and ''Who killed the Kennedys? When after all it was you and me'' Anotherwords ''we are all responsible'', meaning the wealthy Elite and down to the average poor, if we with whoever wants to win this world ''without responsibillity'' for how the other person[s] is[are] being influenced spiritually and psychologically, especially by the ones that have the ''power of information'' to express opinions and laws on this world to one another that to many times influences us to act unnaturally evil and deadly towards eachother for whatever ungodly reasons, if we don't think and act more with the loving God before we act and think tank with or like a poor little Devil to give us fame and fortune for a illuminated death.
anonymous Jun 10th, 2016 6:36pm report
Behold, for we are not His children, we are but His crops. Rejoice, and lest we destroy ourselves, bear Him fruit!
anonymous May 2nd, 2015 5:50am report
It is simply yin and yang. We ALL consist of dark and brightness. Hope you guess my name??? Doug. That's me.
I thought it was common knowledge that the song was influenced by 'The Master and Margarita' by Bulgakov. If you read it you will see what I mean and the lyrics will become abundantly clear. Also, you will find that the song has referenced the book. It is a fantastic book too with several layers, worth reading. BTW the book also influenced The Eagles when they wrote Hotel California.
anonymous Jun 8th, 2014 6:59am report
I have to agree "after all, it was you and me".
It's not the devil, it's not the demagogues. It's the average everyday citizen that allows these atrocities since the beginning of time. What Sinclair Lewis called the "Doremus Jessup"
anonymous Oct 6th, 2013 10:01pm report
The song is titled sympathy for the devil and yet over and over again in the chorus the charactee challenges you to guess his name. The final verse goes through a series of characters by nameing them the opposite of whom they are (cops=criminals, sinners=saints) and then follows with "as heads is tails (another opposite) just call me lucifer"..... So if heads = tails, then Lucifer = God. He tells you he is lucifer but repeatedly challenges you to guess his name implying that the name he's giving you usnt the right one. Thats because it isnt lucifer its god.
anonymous Aug 25th, 2013 8:41pm report
OK, It's 'Satan'- (it's name). The lyrics are saying 'it' (I don't believe it's a he or she) has been around at least 2000 years and performing/causing/instigating countless crimes against humanity. If you are looking at it through the lens of the Judeo-Christian programing you would assume I am talking in terms of 'Satan' or 'The Devil' being an evil spirit. To me they are obviously cryptically (because they aren't stupid) talking about the 'Illuminati conspiracy'. If you would consider that 'Satan' or 'the Beast' maybe as referred to in THE BIBLE, is this same conspiracy. I am not a Cristian but I do believe THE BIBLE gives us many clues to what is going on. We are warned, 'SATAN will deceive you'. It makes SO much more sense if 'SATAN' is a CULT than a supernatural being.
One more thing, if as it says in Revelations, 'the Devil sends The Beast with wrath, then we have multiple entities here, so what is what? Maybe that should have called 'Sympathy with THE BEAST'.
Take a look at these and see if it makes any more sense.
IRON MAIDEN 'Revelations'
RUSH 'Distant Early Warning'
anonymous Feb 2nd, 2013 2:43pm report
Who's to blame? What's my name? Whats the nature of my game? You're to blame. You should know your own name. In a way we are the devil,and caused everything you consider evil, or, if you're religious I guess another answer would be: We fall under the devils influence.
anonymous Dec 9th, 2012 12:18am report
What's interesting is that none of the writers mentions C.S. Lewis and "The Screwtape Letters." Lewis's book is a collection of essays supposedly written by a minor demon (Screwtape) to the other devils. In it, Screwtape reveals the grand Satanic plan for the domination of the world throughout history.
This song is simply the "Screwtape Letters" in song form. Although it critiques human behavior, as well, that bad human behavior dovetails with the devils' plan for humanity. Man makes himself an easier target through his own violence and greed. Although people think of this song as "Satanist," if you really probe a little further, it's actually one of the most profoundly Christian songs ever written.
anonymous Nov 28th, 2012 11:13am report
I have a hard time buying the 100 year war reference. This war was a dispute over the French crown not religion. The 10 decades is a more likely reference to the Crusades.
The interpretation is very obvious and it's humorous to look at the replies here debating history.
But if you'd like some first-hand knowledge, I'm an acquaintence of Keith Richards and asked him about the origins of the song. As a good friend of his son Marlon he answered me frankly and honestly.
This song is about substance abuse couched in historical events. Substance abuse was part of the Rolling Stones early on as they gained fame, and like many recovering addicts and alcoholics they struggled with it. The substance was the Devil and it will "lay your soul to waste" but substance can be so seductive that the user respects and sympathizes with it. The events represented by historical references were merely a way to show the progression and constant presence.
You can believe me or not but I know the man and these are the words and the meaning from the man who wrote it. The reason I asked him about it is I'm struggling as well. I did not nor will not ask about other songs. Keith enjoys his days still playing but most enjoys his citrus trees. He's also a fanatic of the Weather Channel. A very remarkable man if you get past the media's drug-addled image of him. And did anyone know his neighbor is Rod Stewart who has one of the most impressive model train setups in the world?
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