"Sympathy for the Devil" as written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards....
Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul to waste

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
(Woo woo, woo woo)

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
(Woo woo, woo woo)

I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
(Who who, who who)

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
(Woo woo, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
(Who who)
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
(Who who, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
(Woo woo, who who)

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
(Who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
(Woo woo)
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah
(Woo woo, woo woo)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah
(Who who)
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down
(Woo woo, woo woo)

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
(Woo woo)

Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame

Oh, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What's my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name

Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah
Woo woo
Woo woo


Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by goodnews, serious

"Sympathy for the Devil" as written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards

Lyrics © ABKCO Music Inc.

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Sympathy for the Devil song meanings
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213 Comments

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  • +8
    Song MeaningThe song taunts us over and over with "What's my name?" even after the narrator tell us to just call him Lucifer.

    His name is God. Not Lucifer, not Satan, but God. I used to think this verse was just bad grammar:

    As heads is tales
    Just call me Lucifer

    But the anwer is right there--cop is to criminal as God is to Lucifer.

    God in a bad mood is Satan. God in a bad mood lays our souls to waste:

    Just call me Lucifer,
    Cause I'm in need of some restraint.

    God in a good mood plays games with us:

    What's puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game.

    What's confusing you
    Is just the nature of my game.

    What a masterful song!
    DorianModeon March 08, 2012   Link
  • +6
    Song MeaningI think this song is sung in the point of view of the Devil, and is saying to stop blaming the Devil for everything bad. There are alot of references, including the crucifixion of Jesus, world war 2, and the assasination of John F. Kennedy. But who crucified Jesus? Man. Who started WWII? Man. What killed J.F.K? Man. This song is saying that the Devil didn't cause these things, he just "watched" while man did all the work. That's why this song is called "Sympathy for the Devil". It isn't saying to really have sympathy for him, it is saying that maybe we should stop blaming him for all bad things, and maybe start taking a look at ourselves
    serg340on December 29, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think the meaning of this song is pretty obvious. This is clearly not a Satanic song. It's a cautionary tale.

    Evil is everywhere. It's a constant. Those who try to just go along with everything and ignore the fact that evil exists and do nothing about it are going to be consumed by the devil (Have some sympathy, and some taste/Use all your well-learned politeness/Or I'll lay your soul to waste). He is out to destroy us. To take us over. To remove our good. If we are apathetic to it or if we go along with it to save ourselves in the natural world, he will destroy our souls. We have to learn to recognize him (hope you guessed my name). He puts on a great disguise. We must sift through all the B.S. if we want to outsmart him.
    thecaterpillaron March 12, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe man who wrote the article that a link was given to in the previous comment is a false prophet. The man is proclaiming hate, telling people to condemn these songs and singers for their lyrics, calling them prophets of Satan. The author of the article is saying that we are all weak minded and able to be swayed by these "satanic" lyrics if we listen to them. He says we should listen to christian songs only.

    The author is wrong. We sould be able to listen to whatever we want. We shouldn't be limited to only Christian music. This author is a prime example of why people are driven from Christianity. The author used misquoted lyrics in his article, the System of a Down lyrics read this:

    Father, Father, Father, Father,
    Father/ Into your hands/I/commend my spirit,
    Father, into your hands,

    Why have you forsaken me,
    In your eyes forsaken me,
    In your thoughts forsaken me,
    In your heart forsaken, me oh,

    not:

    Father (******) Brother (******)
    Father/ Into your hands/I/commend my spirit,
    Father, into your hands,

    Why have you forsaken me,
    In your eyes forsaken me,
    In your thoughts forsaken me,
    In your heart forsaken, me oh,

    In closing, I do not believe you should listen to this false prophet. Christ taught compassion, not hate.
    Gilthanison June 20, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI understand this as an admonishment that evil is nothing new and can disguise itself in many forms, as it has thru history.Even Christ faced this dilemma (of course, HE recognized it for what it was) Sympathy is thinking like the devil, the ultimate enemy, to effectively recognize and resist. It's a warning to those who are naive and accept everything at face value.
    Writing this in the first person further drives home the point of entering the mind of the ultimate enemy. I find this song almost too profound for a robot, take- everything-literally Christian to comprehend.Few ever get past the knee-jerk reaction because it portrays the devil in the first person. mmmmmm.........
    makes ya think, huh?

    Laursauruson July 08, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's not Lucifer speaking in this song, it's God.

    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints
    As heads is tails

    This song is saying that God is the real devil. It's a maltheistic song.

    So if you meet me Have some courtesy
    Have some sympathy, and some taste
    Use all your well-learned politesse
    Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah

    It's telling you to worship this evil totalitarian or you will suffer. The title "Sympathy for the Devil" is because people generally worship God and sympathize with him despite monstrous deeds. "Devil" is not a literal term.

    I don't actually believe God is this, just what I think the song is saying. I don't agree with it, but this is what I think it's saying

    PickleJelloon January 15, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti really think that the line about the troubadours is a metephore - the lost of young musicians to drugs, alcohol, ect. before they really meet their potential.
    and it is possible that everyone is just reading too much into it.
    CeeJaion October 15, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is a direct shot at people with religious beliefs. It was meant for certain people not to get. In short, it is saying, to blame all the bad things in the world on a "character", is naive and uneducated. The only thing that would be more rediculous than this belief, would be the actual belief that Mick Jagger is actually the devil. This song, not only is extremely cleverly written, and disguised, but has some of the best guitar licks, and rolls along with the best r&b ever written. For those who still don't get it, I'm sure think Ozzy Osbourne is the prince of darkness, Alice Cooper is the Devil's son, and Marilyn Manson is, well "mister scary". What these artists all have in common, is they get to travel world, and see first hand the atrocities caused by religion. All were brought up very religious, and began to mock this belief, after worldly education. For all you young music listeners, I was like you, and at 15 took the words to this song literally, after learning about popular music extensively, and the different bands, I was able to see through the simple lyrics of alot of songs, but believe this one is one of the most important. "Who killed the Kennedy's?" after all it was you and me, and the russian's, and the mafia, and the.................. Not some dude in a red cape.The end lyrics give it away, "I tell you one more time baby, your to blame". Meaning us, people. It's a shame that alot of people weren't sharp enough at the time to get it, and for those who didn't, John Lennon had to write a song with no hidden tongue in cheek meanings. The shame is, when he wrote that song , people got it, but stuck their heads in the sand. Though it doesn't rock like "Sympathy", it's just as important, and 200 years from now ,people will know , "Imagine ", was sending the exact same message to an ignorant and confused society.
    viper67on June 23, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTroubadours were people in the middle ages who would travel from France trying to reach out to Europe and Asia of Gods true message but were often killed by Church officials or others before they could finish their journey.
    hawaiipt1on February 28, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is clearly about God being responsible for what goes on.

    "Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints
    As heads is tails
    Just call me Lucifer
    'Cause I'm in need of some restraint"

    "I shouted out "who killed the Kennedy's?" when after all it was you and me"

    "Tell me baby, what's my name
    I tell you one time, you're to blame"

    it's as simple as that. People like to blame the worlds problems on a "devil" or "evil" when it is Man himself to blame.
    tukoon April 25, 2010   Link

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