Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie

Pass The version on the left hand side

In 1982 there was suddenly a new song that everybody liked: Pass The Dutchie from Musical Youth. A Reggaesong with ‘Little Michael Jackson’ kinda vocals and ‘Jackson Five” feel. The song was top ten in a lot of countries worldwide, selling 5 million copies in total.

This song was constructed from at least three separate tracks

The intro was taken from U-Roy’s Rule The Nation

Words were changed into the mysterious “This generation, rules the nation, with version’. A big discussion at the time: ‘what did he say’? We never knew it was ‘Version’, it was pronounced like ‘Vressiaah’.

Main part of the song is original by a band called Mighty Diamonds: Pass The Kouchie

A kouchie is a kind of pipe to smoke marihuana with. As being part of the Rastaman religion smoking ‘herb’ was openly sung about. For a band with Dennis Seaton being the leadsinger at the age of 15 it was no good idea however. Changing the song to a kind of political statement, hence ‘How Does It Feel When You Got No Food’ was at that time in the UK relevant. so it became the song about a Dutch cooking pot. Funny thing is that since then the term “Dutchie’ is known for a kind of rolled up marihuana-sigar…

Back to the songs

The third part of the song is U-Brown with his “Gimme The Music’, also used at the start of the song.

This song was released on album a year after Musical Youth’s hitsingle. The year of the single-release is unknown but generally referred to as 1981.

Song number four of this story is about a song called ‘Full Up’ from Jackie Mittoo and his Sound Dimensions

or as on my copy of the 7 inch release: The Sound Demensions. Putting to vinyl in 1968 it is one of the song s that is used in so many later songs and versions. As with Reggae music you might never know who started the first version, might it be in a completely other genre or from another part of the world. A story in it’s own. From 1975 and on it is used in more then a hundred other songs (!

The person who constructed ‘Pass The Dutchie’ was creative to say the least. Was it Manager (and father of bandmember Patrick Waite) Frederick Waite Sr. who had the idea?  He was originally part of Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae band The Techniques from the early sixties. And familiar to the original songs and method of using -part of’ other songs.

Anyway it was a song that most people know now.

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