Lyrically peaking: Beggars Banquet

The Street Fighting Man song became something an anthem for the youth movement as they hit the streets in protest, including against the Vietnam War. Mass marches were held in the US, London and Paris, among others, and violent confrontations with authorities later erupted on the streets and in American university campuses.


Street Fighting Man, released as a single, was banned by many radio stations in the US and the single’s cover sleeve in America, of a street demonstration, was withdrawn from sale after a few days.


And then there’s Sympathy For The Devil > with Mick Jagger taking on the persona of the devil > also on Beggars Banquet, one of the Rolling Stones’ best alums.

Street Fighting Man

Ev’rywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy

Cause summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy


Hey! Said my name is called disturbance

I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail at all his servants

Well, what can a poor boy do

Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band

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


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

>> lyrics continued >>


I stuck around St. Petersburg

When I saw it was a time for a change

Killed the czar and his ministers

Anastasia screamed in vain


I rode a tank

Held a general’s rank

When the blitzkrieg raged

And the bodies stank

>> lyrics continued >>

I shouted out,

“Who killed the Kennedys?”

When after all

It was you and me


Just as every cop is a criminal

And all the sinners saints

As heads is tails

Just call me Lucifer

‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint

Stray Cat Blues

I can see that you’re fifteen years old

No I don’t want your I.D.

And I can see that you’re so far from home

But it’s no hanging matter

It’s no capital crime


You say you got a friend, that she’s wilder than you

Why don’t you bring her upstairs

If she’s so wild then she can join in too

Factory Girl

Waiting for a girl who’s got curlers in her hair

Waiting for a girl she has no money anywhere

We get buses everywhere

Waiting for a factory girl


Waiting for a girl and she gets me into fights

Waiting for a girl we get drunk on Friday night

Salt Of The Earth

Let’s drink to the hard working people

Let’s drink to the lowly of birth

Raise your glass to the good and the evil

Let’s drink to the salt of the earth


Raise your glass to the hard working people

Let’s drink to the uncounted heads

Let’s think of the wavering millions

Who need leading but get gamblers instead

All lyrics by Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, except where otherwise specified.