Les Litanies de Satan

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"Les Litanies de Satan" ("The Litanies of Satan") is a poem by Charles Baudelaire, published as part of Les Fleurs du mal. The date of composition is unknown, but there is no evidence that it was composed at a different time to the other poems of the volume.[1]

The poem is a renunciation of religion, and Catholicism in particular.[2] It includes a blasphemous inversion of the Kyrie Eleison and the Glory Be, parts of the Catholic Mass,[3] or it substitutes Satan for Mary and liturgy directed towards her.[4] Swinburne called it the key to Les Fleurs du mal.[4] The poet empathises with Satan, who has also experienced injustice[5] and can have pity for those who are outcasts. But for political reasons, Baudelaire had to preface the poem with a note explaining he had no personal allegiance with Satan.[6] Even so, Les Fleurs du mal led to him and his publishers being fined for "insult to public decency".

The poem is an inspiration to Satanists to this day.[7]


  • American composer and electronic music pioneer, Ruth White, recorded an English translation for her 1969 release Flowers of Evil.
  • In 1982, it was recorded in the original French by Diamanda Galás with electronic effects and released as a 12" single as The Litanies of Satan. It was later released as a CD.
  • The Greek band Necromantia recorded an English translation for their début album Crossing the Fiery Path released in 1993.
  • The Mexican thrash/death metal band Transmetal recorded a Spanish translation for their album Tristeza de Lucifer called "Las letanias de satan" ("Satan's litanies" in English)
  • The Norwegian black metal act Gorgoroth performed "Litani til Satan", with Baudelaire's lyrics translated to Nynorsk, on their Incipit Satan album.
  • The Polish band Sunrise Black recorded a Polish translation for their album Omnia pro Patria released in 2013.
  • The Italian band Theatres des Vampires recorded a French version for their album Bloody Lunatic Asylum released in 2001.
  • The Greek band Rotting Christ recorded a French version for their album Rituals released in 2016.
  • Theater Oobleck recorded a version as part of their "Baudelaire In A Box" series [8]


  1. ^ Starkie, Enid (1933). Baudelaire. G.P. Putnam's sons. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Debusscher, Gilbert; Schvey, Henry I.; Maufort, Marc (1989). New essays on American drama. Rodopi. p. 16. ISBN 978-90-5183-107-8. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Lawler, James R. (1997). Poetry and moral dialectic: Baudelaire's "secret architecture". Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-8386-3758-6. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b universitet, Uppsala (1975). Studia anglistica upsaliensia. Almqvist & Wiksell. ISBN 978-91-554-0331-7. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Daniel, Robert R. (1997). The poetry of Villon and Baudelaire: two worlds, one human condition. P. Lang. ISBN 978-0-8204-3472-8. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  6. ^ Leakey, F. W. (1992). Baudelaire, Les fleurs du mal. Cambridge University Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-521-36116-3. Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  7. ^ Flowers From Hell: A Satanic Reader
  8. ^ https://theateroobleck.bandcamp.com/

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