Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"It Was You And Me"

A while ago, I was listening to the Stones' "Sympathy For the Devil" with a friend. When Mick sang the line:
"I shouted out, 'Who killed the Kennedys'
When after all, it was you and me." friend mumbled something about liberal guilt, "yeah, sure, we're all responsible for killing the Kennedys."

"I don't think that's what he meant by 'you and me'," I replied. "He's singing this as the Devil and he's saying that the Devil, in partnership with this case, Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan...killed the Kennedys. I don't think he's saying, 'I, Mick Jagger, and my audience, killed the Kennedys and we should feel guilty about it and blame ourselves."

A lot of songs back then were supposed to induce liberal guilt, but I don't think this was one of them. My interpretation could also rest on the basis of my exposure to Catholicism, where the Devil is treated as a real entity. Even if you don't think he's a real entity, Catholicism does, and if you're a kid you accept this (which Catholic grown-ups told me was so different from believing in fairy tales, of course.)

So it's easy for me to picture Mick in character as the Devil, saying things as the Devil, in the first person, and doesn't come as second nature to my friend, who was not exposed to Catholicism.

Of course, my interpretation could be totally out to lunch, and so should I right now.

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