Pass the Dutchie

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"Pass the Dutchie"
Pass the Dutchie single.jpg
Single by Musical Youth
from the album The Youth of Today
B-side"Give Love a Chance"
Released17 September 1982
RecordedAugust 1982
GenreReggae, reggae-pop
6:05 (12" single version)
LabelMCA Records
Musical Youth singles chronology
"Generals" / "Political"
"Pass the Dutchie"
"Youth of Today"

"Pass the Dutchie" is a song produced by Toney Owens from Kingston and the British Jamaican reggae band Musical Youth, taken from their debut studio album, The Youth of Today (1982). The reggae song was a major hit, peaking at number one on the UK Singles Chart. Outside the United Kingdom, it peaked within the top ten of the charts in the United States and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.


The song was the band's first release on a major label. Following a shouted intro taken from U Roy's "Rule the Nation" with words slightly altered, the track combined two songs: "Gimme the Music" by U Brown, and "Pass the Kouchie" by Mighty Diamonds, which deals with the recreational use of cannabis (kouchie being slang for a cannabis pipe).[1] For the cover version, the song's title was bowdlerised to "Pass the Dutchie", the new word being a patois term for a Dutch oven, a type of cooking pot.[2] All obvious drug references were removed from the lyrics; e.g., instead of the original "How does it feel when you got no herb?", the cover version refers to "food" instead. "Dutchie" has since become a drug reference, denoting a blunt stuffed with marijuana and rolled in a wrapper from a Dutch Masters cigar, since American and British listeners assumed that the term was a drug reference.[citation needed]

The song was first championed by radio DJ Zach Diezel and became an instant hit when it was picked up by MCA Records in September 1982. It debuted at #26 on the UK chart and rose to #1 the following week.[1] In February 1983, it reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the USA.[3] Though they would have subsequent Top 40 hits in other countries, "Pass the Dutchie" remains their only in the US. The song also scored the #1 position in five other countries, eventually selling more than five million copies worldwide.[4][5]

Music video[edit]

The video, directed by Don Letts,[6] was shot partly on the southern banks of the River Thames in London, by Lambeth Bridge. It depicts the band performing the song and playing instruments, until an official appears to arrest them.[7] Courtroom scenes are interspersed with the exterior ones. Musical Youth became the first black artists to appear in a studio segment on MTV.[8]

Track listing[edit]

A. "Pass the Dutchie" – 3:25
B. "Please Give Love a Chance" – 3:36
A. "Pass the Dutchie" – 6:05
B. "Pass the Dutchie" (Special Dub Mix) – 4:40

Charts and certifications[edit]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Musical Youth lose legal battle over Pass The Dutchie | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (25 January 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (8th ed.). Billboard Publications.
  4. ^ Alexis Petridis (2003-03-21). "Famous for 15 months". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  5. ^ Simpson, Paul (2003). The rough guide to cult pop. Rough Guides. ISBN 9781843532293. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  6. ^ "Musical Youth - "Pass the Dutchie"". Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  7. ^ "Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie - YouTube". Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  8. ^ "Musical Youth - Interview @ Designer Magazine". Lycos. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  9. ^ "Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  10. ^ "Pass the Dutchie / Please Give Love a Chance by Musical Youth : Reviews and Ratings - Rate Your Music". Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  11. ^ "Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 212. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ " – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ " – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6194." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  16. ^ "Danish Chart Archive - Singles 1979 - ____ (B.T./IFPI DK)". Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  17. ^ "The Europarade - 1983 to 1985". UKMIX Forums. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  18. ^ " – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  19. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Tubes de chaque artiste commençant par M". Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  20. ^ "Topp 10 vinsælustu lögin". DV (in Icelandic). 29 October 1982. p. 37. ISSN 1021-8254. Retrieved 12 December 2020 – via
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Pass the Dutchie". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Israel Singles Charts 1987-1995". Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Musical Youth" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  24. ^ " – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  25. ^ " – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie". Top 40 Singles.
  26. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  27. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  28. ^ " – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie". Singles Top 100.
  29. ^ " – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie". Swiss Singles Chart.
  30. ^ "Musical Youth: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ "Musical Youth Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  32. ^ "Musical Youth Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "Musical Youth Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "Talent Almanac 1984: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 95 no. 52. December 24, 1983. p. TA-18.
  35. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie". Music Canada.
  36. ^ "Les Singles en Or" (in French). Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  37. ^ "French single certifications – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie" (in French). InfoDisc. Select MUSICAL YOUTH and click OK. 
  38. ^ "British single certifications – Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Pass the Dutchie in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  39. ^ "Dezil' - Laisse tomber les filles (qui se maquillent)". (in French). Retrieved 2008-10-02.

External links[edit]