In literature I have always been more drawn to the idea of the devil as a being kind of egging humans on to fulfill the worst in their nature. It makes more sense to me than a being who does bad himself. It makes much more sense that he would just be some charismatic guy encouraging you to do bad yourself than doing it to you. And so that is part of the draw of this song for me. Also, attorneys are often closely associated with the devil. Perhaps we are seen as encouraging the worst in human nature too. So sometimes I think of this as a song about lawyers although I am pretty sure that is not what the Rolling Stones were thinking.
I love all the percussion on this song. The congos in particular are awesome. I can’t even hear any guitar though in the video one is being played. I like that a lot of the “instruments” are hoots and hollars. It kins of makes the song sound more festive. Which I think shows the tongue in cheek nature of the song. They start out so slow and almost serious but its obvious even the devil doesn’t think he needs sympathy.
Live Footage of The Rolling Stones performing Sympathy for the Devil