Hymn to Her

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"Hymn to Her"
Single by The Pretenders
from the album Get Close
B-side "Room Full of Mirrors"
Released 1986
Genre Soft rock
Length 4:27
Label Warner Music Group
Writer(s) Meg Keene
Producer(s) Jimmy Iovine, Bob Clearmountain

"Hymn to Her" is a song that was first released on the Pretenders' 1986 album Get Close. It was written by Meg Keene, a high school friend of Pretenders' lead singer Chrissie Hynde.[1] "Hymn to Her" was released as a single in the UK and reached #8 on the charts.[2] According to Allmusic critic Matthew Greenwald, the song has remained popular on Adult Contemporary radio stations.[3]

According to SPIN magazine critic Erik Himmelsbach, "Hymn to Her" is one of the songs presenting "traditional pop sentiments" which Hynde and the Pretenders mixed in with their more vitriolic work.[4] SPIN critic Brian Cullman described it as a "hymn to the eternal feminine."[1] The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism interprets the song as containing pagan themes.[5] Vic Garbarini of Musician magazine suggested that a theme of the song is Hynde "trying to listen to that part of [herself] where all [her] songs come from."[6] Greenwald considers it "a timeless love song about a life-long love."[3] According to Greenwald, the melody combines folk music and gospel music elements.[3]

Cullman evaluated "Hymn to Her" as "a stunner" which combines "the spirit behind 'The Mists of Avalon' with the beauty of Sandy Denny's best work."[1] Greenwald particularly praised the lyrics, Hynde's delivery, and the refrain.[3] Ira Robbins and Delvin Neugebauer of Trouser Press described "My Baby" as a "haunting ballad" that was one of the few worthy songs on Get Close.[7] Author Barbara O'Dair described it as "glorious" and "spine-tingling" and "the best thing" on Get Close.[8] The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism called it "enchanting."[5]

"Hymn to Her" was later included on the Pretenders' compilation albums The Singles in 1987 and Greatest Hits in 2000.[9][10] It was also included on the multi-artist compilation album Diana, Princess of Wales: Tribute in 1997.[11] Sleeper covered the song as the b-side to "Vegas" and on the related EP in 1995.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b c Cullman, B. (February 1987). O'Brien, G., ed. "Platter du Jour". SPIN magazine. pp. 25–27. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  2. ^ "Pretenders singles". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d Greenwald, M. "Hymn to Her". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  4. ^ Himmelsbach, E. (August 1999). "Pretenders: Viva El Amor". SPIN magazine. p. 162. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  5. ^ a b Rabinovitch, S. & Lewis, J., ed. (2004). The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism. Citadel Press. pp. 170, 172. ISBN 9780806524078. 
  6. ^ Garbarini, V. (May 1987). "The Annotated Chrissie". Spy. p. 15. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  7. ^ Robbins, I. & Neugebauer, D. "Pretenders". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  8. ^ O'Dair, B. (1996). Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock. Random House. p. 306. ISBN 9780679768746. 
  9. ^ Greenwald, M. "The Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  10. ^ Prato, G. "Greatest Hits". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  11. ^ Erlewine, S.T.. "Diana, Princess of Wales: Tribute". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  12. ^ "Sleeper Awakens Interest". Billboard Magazine. February 11, 1995. p. 94. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  13. ^ "Vegas". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 

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