The Pretenders

English-American rock band

The Pretenders are an English-American rock band formed in Hereford, England, in March 1978. The original band comprised initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), James Honeyman-Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Pete Farndon (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Martin Chambers (drums, backing vocals, percussion). Following the drug-related deaths of Honeyman-Scott and Farndon, the band has experienced numerous subsequent personnel changes, with Hynde as the only consistent member, and Chambers returning after an absence of several years.

The Pretenders

Song lyrics


All songs written by Chrissie Hynde, except as noted.

  • I like the way you cross the street 'cause your precious.
    Moving through the Cleveland heat, how precious.
    Taking rides and all the kicks was so precious.
    But you know I was shittin' bricks 'cause I'm precious.
  • Each little tear that falls from your eyes
    Makes, makes me want
    To take you in my arms and tell you
    To stop all your sobbing.
  • Kid, my only kid,
    You look so small, you've gone so quiet.
    I know you know
    What I'm about, I won't deny it.
  • You asked me for advice, I said use the door.
    But you're still clinging to somebody you deplore.
    And now you wanna use me for emotional blackmail.
    I just feel pity when you lie, contempt when you cry.
  • Gonna use my arms;
    Gonna use my legs.
    Gonna use my style;
    Gonna use my sidestep.
    Gonna use my fingers;
    Gonna use my, my, my imagination.

    'Cause I gonna make you see
    There's nobody else here,
    No one like me.
    I'm special so special.
    I gotta have some of your attention. Give it to me.

  • Mystery achievement
    Where's my sandy beach? Yeah.
    I had my dreams like everybody else,
    But they're out of reach, I said, right out of reach.
    I could ignore you,
    Your demands are unending.
    I got no tears on my ice cream but you know me,
    I love pretending.
    • "Mystery Achievement"
  • Now look at the people
    In the streets, in the bars.
    We are all of us in the gutter,
    But some of us are looking at the stars.
  • I'm the adultress.
    But I didn't want to be and I'm convenient
    And I make good tea.
    I stand accused
    Of the worst crime in history.
    That's my mystery;
    I'm the adultress.
    • "The Adultress"
  • You're not supposed to do that;
    You know you're not allowed to.
    But you seem to get some kind of kick
    Out of doing what you're not allowed to.
    You deliberately defy the rules
    'cause the law's upheld by fools.
    Shit on that.
    Bad boys get spanked.
    • "Bad Boys Get Spanked"
  • It's not my place to know what you feel.
    I'd like to know but why should I?
    Who were you then? Who are you now?
    Common labourer by night, by day, highbrow.
    Back in my room, I wonder, then I
    Sit on the bed, look at the sky.
    Up in the sky
    Clouds rearrange
    Like the talk of the town.
  • Take, take, take, takin' what you don't need
    You'll get, get, gettin' what you don't need
    Stand back, take a look and take heed
    All the children in God's kingdom bleed
    See the networks of concrete and steel
    They've no mystery but what they reveal
    Tells a story of a future that's void
    Of the beauty and the majesty that life on
    Earth is meant to be...
    • "Waste Not Want Not"
  • Talk, talk, talk, talk about the government
    And not a word about political favor
    Everything touched is my political choice
    The life you take is your political voice.
    • "Waste Not Want Not"
  • Do unto others as you wish be done to you
    There's a million lies 'round everything true
    You slaughter when you feast
    You disrespect the beast
    Make our beds and lie there, take your share
    Waste not want not pick it up
    Waste not want...
    • "Waste Not Want Not"
  • The middle of the road is trying to find me.
    I'm standing in the middle of life with my plans behind me.
    Well I got a smile for everyone I meet
    As long as you don't try dragging my bay
    Or dropping the bomb on my street.
  • I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh
    What hijacked my world that night
    To a place in the past
    We've been cast out of? oh oh oh oh
    Now we're back in the fight;
    We're back on the train.
    Oh, back on the chain gang.
  • The powers that be
    That force us to live like we do
    Bring me to my knees
    When I see what they've done to you.
    But I'll die as I stand here today
    Knowing that deep in my heart
    They'll fall to ruin one day
    For making us part.
    • "Back on the Chain Gang"
  • Welcome to the human race,
    With its wars, disease and brutality>
    You with your innocence and grace
    Restore some pride and dignity
    To a world in decline.
  • I went back to Ohio
    But my city was gone.
    There was no train station;
    There was no downtown.
    South Howard had disappeared.
    All my favorite places.
    My city had been pulled down,
    Reduced to parking spaces.
    A, o, way to go Ohio.
  • In these frozen and silent nights,
    Sometimes in a dream you appear.
    Outside under the purple sky,
    Diamonds in the snow sparkle.
    Our hearts were singing.
    It felt like Christmastime.
  • I know I'm a peasant
    Dressed as a princess.
    But that doesn't mean you have
    To take my clothes away.

    If I could show you
    Some happiness,
    Then I would feel
    Like a real princess.
    That to me would be success
    My baby.

  • I seen you dancin',
    A natural beauty.
    You make this dive
    Seem sublime.
    You really get
    To the heart of the music.
    You're the poetry of time.
    • "My Baby"
  • Don't get me wrong,
    If I'm looking kind of dazzled.
    I see neon lights
    Whenever you walk by.

    Don't get me wrong,
    If you say hello and I take a ride
    Upon a sea where the mystic moon
    Is playing havoc with the tide.
    Don't get me wrong.

  • Once in awhile,
    Two people meet,
    Seemingly for no reason,
    They just pass on the street.
    Suddenly thunder, showers everywhere.
    Who can explain the thunder and rain?
    But there's something in the air.
    • "Don't Get Me Wrong"
  • Oh, why you look so sad?
    Tears are in your eyes.
    Come on and come to me now,
    Don't be ashamed to cry.
    Let me see you through,
    'Cause I've seen the dark side too.
    When the night falls on you,
    You don't know what to do.
    Nothing you confess
    Could make me love you less.

    I'll stand by you;
    I'll stand by you.
    Won't let nobody hurt you,
    I'll stand by you.

See also

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