Lyrics for a song by The Specials

Contributed by Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

Handwritten lyrics by Jerry Dammers for The Specials' hit song Too Much Too Young.

Due to its reference to a contraceptive, the song's final line 'try wearing a cap' was often faded out on radio.The lyrics and their author represent a significant although short-lived cultural movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 2 Tone was the brainchild of Jerry Dammers. It was a distinctive new sound that emerged from Coventry in the late 1970s, combining elements of ska, reggae, punk and pop music. Dammers both devised the iconic black and white chequered label design and logo of the movement and fronted its most successful band, The Specials. 2 Tone bands challenged racist attitudes through their lyrics and celebrated cultural diversity in bringing together black and white musicians and the influences of black and white music. 'Too Much Too Young' reached number one in the charts in 1980 and was followed by the equally successful 'Ghost Town'. Although the heyday of 2 Tone was short-lived, the The Specials recently reformed for the 30th anniversary of 2 Tone with a series of successful concerts including their home city of Coventry.

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