Hymn (Ultravox song)

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Single by Ultravox
from the album Quartet
  • "Monument"
  • "The Thin Wall (Live)"
Released19 November 1982
Recorded1982 at AIR Studios
GenreSynthpop, post-punk, new wave
Length4:24 (single edit)
5:46 (album version)
LabelChrysalis Records
Songwriter(s)Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie, Midge Ure
Producer(s)George Martin
Ultravox singles chronology
"Reap the Wild Wind"
"Visions in Blue"

"Hymn" is a 1982 song from Ultravox's sixth studio album Quartet. Released as the album's second single, it reached #11 on the UK Singles Chart[1] and the Top 10 in Germany and Switzerland.[2]


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.

The melody of the song was heavily inspired by The Zones' song "Mourning Star" (1977).[3]

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, directed by Ure and Cross, 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.[3]

Multiple synthesizers are listed in the creation of the track, including the PPG Wave, Minimoog, ARP Odyssey, E-mu Emulator, and Yamaha CS-80.[4]

Track listing[edit]

7" version[edit]

  1. "Hymn" [single edit] – 4:24
  2. "Monument" – 3:16

12" version[edit]

  1. "Hymn" – 5:46
  2. "Monument" – 3:16
  3. "The Thin Wall (live 17 Oct 81 at Hammersmith Odeon)" – 5:54


The song has been covered by numerous acts including Cabballero (1994), Cosmo (1994), German electro project Music Instructor (1995), Supporters (1997), The Stunned Guys [it] (1998), Edguy (1998), DJ Jaxx (2000), 4 Clubbers (2002) Gigi D'Agostino (2003 and 2020), Lunatica (2004), Tina Cousins (2004), Polish DJ Psychophaze (2005), Mägo de Oz (under the name "Mañana empieza hoy") (2005 and 2013), Raz Ohara (2005), Age Pee (2006), Trancemission (2006), Parasytic (2008), PROXIMITY (2010),[5] Kirlian Camera (2011), and Marnik & Danko (2018).


  1. ^ "Ultravox". Official Charts.
  2. ^ Hymn - finnishcharts.com
  3. ^ a b "allmusic.com". AllMusic.
  4. ^ Beecher, Mike (January 1983). "Hymn (EMM Jan 1983)". Electronics & Music Maker (Jan 1983): 56–60.
  5. ^ PROXIMITY at Bandcamp, via the Internet Archive.

External links[edit]