Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Story of the Song | Lone Ranger prefers his 'Rosemarie' fat

Published:Sunday | September 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Lone Ranger
Ray Charles
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"Yu neva know Puppa Ranger coulda sing, ribbit

Mi sey mi like girls fat a mi no like dem slim

Cause when dem slim mi sey dem cyaa do a ting:

Rosemarie, Lone Ranger

In his 1981 song Rosemarie, deejay Lone Ranger expresses a preference for a certain heft in his female partner. Not that there was actually a Rosemarie in his life who he had sized up and found satisfying, as he tells The Sunday Gleaner, "it was just a name I did like".

Taken as they are said, with no reading of a further meaning into the words - the lines are part of a stated preference in Jamaican popular music for women on the heavier side. In Fatty Fatty by the Heptones, which appears on the Night Food album, they sing, "I need a fat girl, fat girl tonight/I need a fat, very very fat girl... I'm in the mood girl/I need some food". And in Agent Sasco's Mix Up on his Theory of Reggaetivity album, even when there is someone slim, fat has to be involved as he says "talking bout a slim girl mix with a fatty/talking bout small waist, big batty."

However, Lone Ranger tells The Sunday Gleaner that he is talking about a woman's weight in one specific area below the waist, which he makes clear when he performs Rosemarie at stage shows. On the record, he says, "The girls think I am talking about size." And he is, but that is clarified in live performances when Lone Ranger uses a combination of adjusted words and gesticulations to make his meaning clear. When he gets to that line in Rosemarie, with a tug at his crotch, Lone Ranger says, "Mi like girls fat a mi no like dem slim/cause when dem slim dem cyaa hangle dis ya ting."

In the recording, he quickly follows the line with "bongdidlley bong song," which has a meaning. "That is the wine an' juk," Lone Ranger said.

 

Lyrical Disguise

 

"Yu need airplay," a laughing Lone Ranger said about the lyrical disguise utilised on his song Barnabas Collins, as he instructs a woman to "tun yu neck pon di right angle" in the commercial release. However, at stage shows, it is the hopefully fat body part that he wishes to be set just right for Barnabas' delight.

Rosemarie was recorded at Channel One Studio for producer Winston Riley. Roots Radics, with Flabba Holt on bass guitar, did the music. Lone Ranger said that at the time, the top producers mainly used Roots Radics or the Revolutionaries, with Sly Dunbar on drums. The afternoon session bore lasting fruit, as Lone Ranger said Rosemarie is a crowd favourite.

The deejay tune comes from a lineage of singers, Lone Ranger noting that it was originally done by American Ray Charles, and Hallelujah, I Love Her So and done over in the 1970s by Jamaican Junior Byles as Girl Next Door.