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Story of the Song | 'Love Bump' about food poisoning, not romance

Published:Friday | July 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger (left) and Mary Isaacs at last Monday’s launch of Tribute to the Greats at 2A Strathaim Avenue, St Andrew. They are among the honorees at the 21st staging of the event.

On the face of it, Lone Ranger's song Love Bump seems to be about the visible after-effects of two lovers nuzzling as he asks, "how yu ketch de love bump?" and immediately answers, "when you're young and in love." He then enquires, "how the love bump stay?" and again answers the query with, "it come up pon yu face like a damn disgrace/Come out in a boil make you features look spoil/Bruck out likkle more an den it tun out inna sore."

Love Bump was released on the Studio One label, and Lone Ranger tells The Sunday Gleaner, "it was a dancehall lyrics and it came in the 1980 when ptomaine (food) poisoning was in Jamaica with the whole heap a tin-tin them. It used to bump up your skin." Other deejays had lyrics about the love bump, including Johnny Ringo, and Lone Ranger says, "Brigadier Jerry supposed to have a love bump, too. Other deejay have love bump, but the lyrics different."

He says the romantic angle was put in for comical effect, and the second verse tells of an encounter with a woman who wanted to go to the cinema, at which there was "nuff excitement". Afterwards, she wanted something to eat and Ranger promptly gives her "icy mint an' ice water."

The song was recorded at 13 Brentford Road, "probably on a Sunday, in the afternoon. The track was laid already". It was not his first Studio One recording, but it was a landmark hit. It did not hurt that the lyrics had been tried and proven in dancehall sessions before being committed to posterity. Facing his audience, Lone Ranger said that he was able to see the reaction though dancing and "the crowd lif' up. Then mi go record it."

"The sound that bring me was Soul to Soul from MoBay. That was the sound that bring me in the days of 'Barnabas Collins'. I come on Sunsplash 1979 with Bob Marley and 1980. That sound was owned by SSP Grandison, the head of the Eradication Squad. A nuff police and soldier used to follow Soul to Soul. We get award for Deejay of the Year and Sound System of the Year at the El Suzie Awards at Curphey Place. After that, I went to Virgo at 5 Lincoln Road, Trench Town, and stop deejay slackness," Lone Ranger explains.

One of the first times Lone Ranger heard Love Bump on the radio was during the Studio One radio programme, paid for by producer Clement Dodd, as other record label owners also did to get their material out to a wide audience. Lone Ranger said Dodd liked his work, so Love Bump was released shortly after it was recorded. It hit number one - then hit a snag. "The stamper (used to press the vinyl record) break when Dodd was in England. It go to number two, and when him come from England and fix the stamper, it go back to number one," he said.

The song duly moved to the stage show circuit, Lone Ranger saying that he performed it at Fort Clarence and other popular outdoor concert venues. And Love Bump is part of his set at Saturday's Tribute to the Greats 2018 at Curphey Place, Swallowfield, St Andrew, where Lone Ranger will be among the honorees.