Sympathy for the Devil

“What’s confusing you is, just the nature of my game” Jagger repeats as a mantra in Sympathy for the Devil.  A ballad controversial as it is revealing, likely because it resonates with man’s universal awakening to our gullibility and lack of understanding of evil in our world.

“What’s puzzling you is the nature of my game” because it is a game, and therefore it is “game theory” and analysis that best can break the code of evil.  The conspiracy of evil against the Kingdom of God in the world is more of a chess match than it is a checkers game.

Though many made quite a ruckus about the song when it came out in 1968, fearing it was a glorification of Satan.  But in 2002 Keith Richards had some wise words to say about it;

“Sympathy is quite an uplifting song. It’s just a matter of looking the Devil in the face. He’s there all the time … Evil – people tend to bury it and hope it sorts itself out and doesn’t rear its ugly head … You might as well accept the fact that evil is there and deal with it any way you can. Sympathy for the Devil is a song that says, Don’t forget him. If you confront him, then he’s out of a job.”

 

“Sympathy For The Devil”

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 and faith

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 Tsar 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

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made

I shouted out,
“Who killed the Kennedys?”
When after all
It was you and me

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

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

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

Interesting to me is the choice of events illustrating the devil’s involvement.  From the crucifixion of Jesus, The Russian Revolution of 1917 when Marxists over threw the Czar and killed his family, Germany’s war machine in WWII, Protestant/Catholic wars in Europe, to the assassination of the Kennedys in the 1960s, there is a common thread running through that was as assuredly unintended by the Stones as it is indiscernible to most of his listeners.
That thread is revolution against Christendom, including the Catholic Church and its Eastern Orthodox counterpart. This is too much to unpack in this short thread.  Rest aside, it is amazing how we can find profound hidden truth in such unlikely places as “Sympathy for the Devil”.

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