Heard this slow burning track again yesterday during ARAKBICA Year End Gathering at Rumah Tanjung Bungkak. Played it a lot on my stereo. It was so popular in this country back in the day.
Released in 1982, it’s performed by British-Jamaican band Musical Youth, taken from their debut studio album, The Youth of Today, the song was a major hit, hitting number one on the UK Singles Chart, and at least five other international charts. It sold over five 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). For the cover version, the song’s title was bowdlerised to “Pass the Dutchie”, a type of Dutch stewing pot. All obvious drug references were removed from the lyrics; e.g. instead of “How does it feel when you got no herb?”, the cover version refers to “food” instead. The meaning of the song transitioned from passing around marijuana to sharing food.
“Pass the Dutchie” saw a bit of a resurgence in 2022 after the song was featured in two episodes of the Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things and re-entered the charts again after 40 years.
Rules the nation
Music happens to be the food of love
Sounds to really make you rub and scrub
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Featured image via Kid’s Music.