“Guns of Navarone” by The Specials
Lyrically this song utilizes a Jamaican musical style known as “toasting”. Perhaps the best way to describe toasting is as freestyling. And accordingly, the lyricist doesn’t seem to make much of an attempt to stick to any particular topic or present a cohesive narrative. Moreover, the title of the track is apparently derived from a movie called “The Guns of Navarone” (1961). Said film is based in World War II. And relatedly there is a mention of the party that governed Germany in the aforementioned war in the lyrics. But for the most part, it appears The Specials’ goal with this tune was to put forth a thumping dance song. And as such, the title apparently alludes to the power of their sound more than anything else.
The Specials’ “Guns of Navarone” is not an original song. It is actually a cover. The song was originally released in 1961 by a Jamaican ska band called The Skatalites.
By virtue of the above, none of the members of The Specials wrote this song. And interestingly enough, despite this song not being originally theirs, it went on to become one of their most successful releases.
The band released it in 1980 as part of their renowned live EP titled “The Special AKA Live!” which birthed the hit “Too Much Too Young“.