Music and British Identity: The Specials


Primary members: Jerry Dammers, Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, Neville Staples, Roddy Radiation, Sir Horace Gentleman, and John Bradbury
Band Biography
Albums of focus: "Too Much Too Young" (1979), Ghost Town EP (1981)
Songs for study:

Selected Songs:
  1. "Too Much Too Young"
  2. "Rat Race"
From Ghost Town (1981):
  1. "Friday Night, Saturday Morning"
  2. "Why?"
  3. "Ghost Town"

"Too Much Too Young" - Live on the Old Grey Whistle Test (1979)

You've done too much,
Much too young
Now you're married with a kid
When you could be having fun with me

(Oh no, no gimme no more pickni)

You've done too much,
Much too young
Now you're married with a son
When you should be having fun with me

(We don't want, we don't want
We don't want no more pickni)

Ain't he cute?
No, he ain't
He's just another burden
On the welfare state

You've done too much,
Much too young
Now you're married with a kid
When you could be having fun with me

(No gimme, no gimme,
No gimme no more pickni)

Call me immature
Call me a poser
I'd love to spread manure in your bed of roses
Don't want to be rich
Don't want to be famous
But I'd really hate to have the same name as you
(You silly moo)

You've done too much,
Much too young
Now you're married with a kid
When you could be having fun with me

(Gi we de birth control, we no want no pickni)

You've done too much,
Much too young
Now you're chained to the cooker
Making currant buns for tea

(Oh no, no gimme no more pickni)

Ain't you heard of the starving millions
Ain't you heard of contraception
Do you really want a program of sterilization?
Take control of the population boom
It's in your living room
Keep a generation gap
Try wearing a cap!

"Rat Race" - from More Specials (1980)

You're working at your leisure to learn the things you'll need
The promises you make tomorrow will carry no guarantee
I've seen your qualifications, you've got a Ph.D.
I've got one art O level, it did nothing for me

Working for the rat race
You know you're wasting your time
Working for the rat race
You're no friend of mine

You plan your conversation to impress the college bar
Just talking about your Mother and Daddy's Jaguar
Wear your political T-shirt and sacred college scarf
Discussing the worlds situation but just for a laugh

You'll be working for the rat race
You know you're wasting your time
Working for the rat race
You're no friend of mine

Working for the rat race
You know you're wasting your time
Working for the rat race
You're no friend of mine

Just working at your leisure to learn the things you don't need
The promises you make tomorrow will carry no guarantee
I've seen your qualifications, you've got a Ph.D.
I've got one art O level, it did nothing for me

Working for the rat race
You know you're wasting your time
You're working for the rat race
You're no friend of mine

"Friday Night, Saturday Morning" (from Ghost Town, 1981)
Out of bed at eight am
Out my head by half past ten
Out with mates and dates and friends
That's what I do at weekends
I can't talk and I can't walk
But I know where I'm going to go
I'm going watch my money go
At the Locarno, no

When my feet go through the door
I know what my right arm is for
Buy a drink and pull a chair
Up to the edge of the dance floor
Bouncers bouncing through the night
Trying to stop or start a fight
I sit and watch the flashing lights
Moving legs in footless tights

I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning
I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning

 

I like to venture into town
I like to get a few drinks down
The floor gets packed the bar gets full
I don't like life when things get dull
The hen party have saved the night
And freed themselves from drunken stags
Having fun and dancing in
A circle round their leather bags

I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning
I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning

But two o'clock has come again
It's time to leave this paradise
Hope the chip shop isn't closed
Cos' their pies are really nice
I'll eat in the taxi queue
Standing in someone else's spew
Wish I had lipstick on my shirt
Instead of piss stains on my shoes

I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning
I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning
I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning
I go out on Friday night
and I come home on Saturday morning

 

"Why?" (from Ghost Town, 1981)
Why did you try to hurt me?
I got to know
Did you really want to kill me?
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why

Why do we have to fight?
Why must we fight?
I have to defend myself
From attack last night

I know I am black
You know you are white
I'm proud of my black skin
And you are proud of your white, so

Why did you try to hurt me?
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why
Did you really want to kill me?
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why

We don't need no British Movement
Nor the Ku Klux Klan
Nor the National Front
It makes me an angry man

I just want to live in peace
Why can't you be the same?
Why should I live in fear?
This fussing and fighting's insane

With a Nazi salute and a steel capped boot
A Nazi salute and a steel capped boot
You follow like sheep inna wolf clothes
You follow like sheep inna wolf clothes
We chase you out the dance hall,
we chase you through the door
We chase you out the dance hall,
we chase you through the door
Cos' we can't take no more of this at all
Cos' we can't take no more of this at all
With a Nazi salute and a steel capped boot
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why
You follow like sheep inna wolf clothes
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why

You're too scared to make a speech during the light
Without a thousand police protecting your rights
To threaten and abuse, incite or fight
But who will protect me from you in the night?

Why did you try to hurt me?
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why
Did you really want to kill me?
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why

With a Nazi salute and a steel capped boot
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why
You follow like sheep inna wolf clothes
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why

"Ghost Town" (from Ghost Town, 1981)
This town, is coming like a ghost town
All the clubs have been closed down
This place, is coming like a ghost town
Bands won't play no more
too much fighting on the dance floor

Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
We danced and sang, and the music played in a de boomtown

This town, is coming like a ghost town
Why must the youth fight against themselves?
Government leaving the youth on the shelf
This place, is coming like a ghost town
No job to be found in this country
Can't go on no more
The people getting angry

This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town
This town, is coming like a ghost town

GRAFFITI STUDY WALL: MUSIC & VIDEOS
SEX PISTOLS
KRAFTWERK
THE CLASH
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.
JOY DIVISION
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
AU PAIRS
COCTEAU TWINS
ARTERY
HUMAN LEAGUE
HEAVEN 17
THE SPECIALS
CABARET VOLTAIRE
TEARS FOR FEARS
DEPECHE MODE
THE SOUND
THE GLOVE
STEEL PULSE
THE CURE
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN
A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS
GANG OF FOUR
NEW ORDER
U2
THE POLICE
CRASS
NEW MODEL ARMY
ELVIS COSTELLO
SPLIT ENZ
THE THE
XTC
THE EXPLOITED
DISCHARGE
THE SMITHS
THE HOUSEMARTINS
RADIOHEAD
PORTISHEAD
PET SHOP BOYS
M Y BLOODY VALENTINE
SLOWDIVE
CRASH MUSIC
MUSIC OF THE TROUBLES

VIDEOS:

SEX PISTOLS
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (LIVE)
THE CURE (LIVE)
COCTEAU TWINS (LIVE)
NEW ORDER (LIVE)
PORTISHEAD (LIVE)
JOY DIVISION MINI-DOCUMENTARY
NUCLEAR WAR PREPAREDNESS: PROTECT & SURVIVE MANUAL