Sympathy for the devil

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mick jagger and The Rolling Stones

Sympathy for the Devil is one of the few Stones songs Mick Jagger wrote alone, without the help of his buddy Keith Richard. At first he said it was based on a poem of Baudelaire. But later he said it was inspired by The Master and Margarita, which Marianne Faithfull would have offered to him as a present. Could be, when you know that in 1967 - one year before Sympathy for the Devil was released - a new English translation of The Master and Margarita, made by Michael Glenny, was published at Harvill Press - now part of Random House. Like in the novel Satan dances a cheerful victory dance on the ruins of human civilisation in the song.

How the song is created from a blues ballad to a hectic samba can be seen in the movie picture One Plus One made by Jean-Luc Godard in 1968 during the recording of Sympathy For The Devil. The growth process of the song is shown in combination with wayward images of a Black Power demonstration and an interview with Eve Democracy.

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