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"Sympathy for the Devil" is a song by The Rolling Stones which first appeared as the opening track on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at #32 in their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, though the song was largely a Jagger composition. The working title of the song was "The Devil Is My Name", and it is sung by Jagger as a first-person narrative from the point of view of Lucifer.
In the 2012 BBC documentary Crossfire Hurricane, Jagger stated that his influence for the song came from Baudelaire and from the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita (which had just appeared in English translation in 1967). The book was given to him by Marianne Faithfull.
In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger said, "I think that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire's, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can't see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it. I wrote it as sort of like a Bob Dylan song."It was Richards who suggested changing the tempo and using additional percussion, turning the folk song into a samba.
Backed by an intensifying rock arrangement, the narrator, with chilling narcissistic relish, recounts his exploits over the course of human history and warns the listener: "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." Jagger stated in the Rolling Stone interview: "... it's a very long historical figure — the figures of evil and figures of good — so it is a tremendously long trail he's made as personified in this piece."

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