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|Single by Ultravox|
|from the album Quartet|
|Released||19 November 1982|
|Recorded||1982 at AIR Studios|
|Genre||Synthpop, post-punk, new wave|
|Length||4:24 (single edit)|
5:46 (album version)
|Songwriter(s)||Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie, Midge Ure|
|Ultravox singles chronology|
"Hymn" is a 1982 song from Ultravox's sixth studio album Quartet. Released as the album's second single, it reached #11 on the British Top 40 singles chart and the Top 10 in Germany and Switzerland.
The song was written by Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie and Midge Ure and produced by George Martin. The cover art depicts certain symbols of Freemasonry, most notably the compass and the square.
Drummer Warren Cann wrote the chorus of "Hymn" and was heavily inspired by The Zones' Song "Mourning Star" (1977). Chris Cross wrote the verses with the help of Midge Ure, while Billy Currie wrote the bridge section.
Lyrically, the song describes a time of corruption, in which "all that's good will fall from grace" and "Different words [...] have other meaning"; the protagonist expresses his worldly ambitions for "power and glory" in phrases from Bible ("the storybook"), especially The Lord's Prayer.
In line with this theme, the music video depicts a diabolical figure (played by Oliver Tobias) seducing men struggling in their fields (an actor, a politician, a musician and an office assistant, played by the four Ultravox members). After signing a contract, they all achieve success, though - as hinted at by the final scenes - at a cost.
- "Hymn" [single edit] – 4:24 (lyrics: Midge Ure - music: Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie, Midge Ure)
- "Monument" – 3:16 (Warren Cann, Billy Currie)
- "Hymn" – 5:46
- "Monument" – 3:16
- "The Thin Wall (live 17 Oct 81 at Hammersmith Odeon)" – 5:54 (lyrics: Midge Ure, Warren Cann - music: Warren Cann, Billy Currie, Midge Ure)
The song has been covered by numerous acts including Magna Charta (1990), Cabballero (1994), Cosmo (1994), German electro project Music Instructor (1995), Supporters (1997), The Stunned Guys (1998), Edguy (1998), DJ Jaxx (2000), 4 Clubbers (2002) Gigi D'Agostino (2003), Lunatica (2004), Tina Cousins (2004), Polish DJ Psychophaze (2005), Mägo de Oz (under the name "Mañana empieza hoy") (2005), Raz Ohara (2005), Age Pee (2006), Trancemission (2006), Parasytic (2008), PROXIMITY (2010), Kirlian Camera (2011), Mägo de Oz again (2013), Marnik & Danko (2018) and Gigi D'Agostino again (2020)