Run for Cover (Lee Perry song)

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"Run for Cover"
Run for Cover Lee Perry.jpeg
Single by Lee "Scratch" Perry as Lee "King" Perry
B-side 'Something You've Got ; alternative "Run for Cover (instrumental version)
Released 1967
Format 7" Vinyl
Recorded Kingston, Jamaica
Genre Rocksteady, reggae
Label Wirl (label) Jamaica, Doctor Bird (label) (UK)
Songwriter(s) Lee Perry
Producer(s) Lee Perry

Run For Cover is a 1967 rocksteady and reggae single by Lee "Scratch" Perry, credited as Lee "King" Perry. The recording featured Perry, his band, Lynn Taitt on guitar and The Sensations as backing singers.[1] It was recorded at Clifford Rae's WIRL studio and appeared on the WIRL record label in Jamaica, then in the UK on Graeme Woodall's Doctor Bird (label) (DB 1073), both pressings with Something You've Got on the B-side.

It was one of the first reggae singles to have two versions, with Perry recording an instrumental version as an alternative B-side.[2][3] The lyrics of Run for Cover had a thinly concealed subtext attacking Perry's previous employer Clement Dodd (Sir Coxsone), a theme shared with his song The Upsetter and even the instrumental Return of Django.[4][5][6]

The original version is on several compilation albums, both of Perry's songs and reggae classics, but the song did not receive a full album release until a version appeared on Perry's album Revelation (2010).

The Wailers also released a song Run for Cover - their first release on Tuff Gong - but this was based on Lee Perry and Marley's Soul Rebel, not on Perry's Run for Cover.[7]


  1. ^ David Katz, People Funny Boy - The Genius Of Lee "Scratch" Perry, p. 54: "Falling back on useful industry connections, he made an arrangement with WIRL's manager, Clifford Rae, where he could record now and pay later; WIRL would take... He was also distributing records for WIRL on a little Honda 50, the smallest motorcycle then available. Perry thus snuck back into the studio to take another swipe at Coxsone with the playfully scathing 'Run For Cover,' in which King Scratch ... ... With harmony provided by the Sensations and Lynn Taitt's supreme picking filling out the bridge, 'Run For Cover' was a formidable attack by Perry in the ..."
  2. ^ Michael Veal, Dub, 2007 , p. 143: "Perry swiftly consolidated his reputation as a talented songwriter and a brilliantly eccentric producer. He scored early commercial. ... But Perry's experimental streak was already in evidence by 1967-68. For example, he was one of the first.... As early as 1967, Perry had released the song "Run For Cover," accompanied by a B-side instrumental version of the same track. He would also release "Set Them Free," an alternate spoken-word vocal over the same rhythm track, which ..."
  3. ^ Stephen Davis, Bob Marley, 1985, p. 81: "In the late sixties Lee Perry was the baddest maverick in Jamaican music, and he combined an extremely rude ... the elfin Perry expressed his rage with singles like "Run for Cover" and "Return of Django," whose slow, sinister beat left a ..."
  4. ^ John Masouri, Wailing Blues: The Story of Bob Marley's Wailers, 2008, p. 78: "CHAPTER FIVE - Upsettin' LEE Perry used Family Man and other members of the Hippy Boys on the majority of his ... him for 'Prince In The Back'), and J. J. Johnson, for whom he voiced the acrimonious 'Run For Cover', aimed at Coxsone."
  5. ^ Stephen Davis, Peter Simon, Reggae international, 1982, p. 81: "By the time [1969] the Wailers first threw their lot in with Lee Perry, Lee had built up a well-deserved reputation through his stewardship with ... singles directed at Coxsone, 'Run for Cover' and 'The Upsetter,' which became a smash hit."
  6. ^ "The Upsetter", Black Music (January 1975). "Perry says the song was his was of expressing how he felt about the way Clement Dodd (Sir Coxsone) had treated him financially while he had been working for Dodd. It spoke of revenge: 'You take people for fool, yeah / And use them as a tool, yeah / But I am the av-en-ger...'."
  7. ^ Katz, People Funny Boy, p. 116: "Shortly after the success of 'Duppy Conqueror,' Perry and the Wailers scored another hit with 'Soul Rebel,' ... The Wailers later issued alternate versions of the song with entirely different lyrics as 'Run For Cover,' which surfaced on ..."