Pass The Dutchie

Album: The Youth Of Today (1982)
Charted: 1 10
Play Video
  • This generation
    Rules the nation
    With version

    Music happen to be the food of love
    Sounds to really make you rub and scrub

    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    It a gonna burn, give me music make me jump and prance
    It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance

    It was a cool and lovely breezy afternoon
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    You could feel it 'cause it was the month of June
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    So I left my gate and went out for a walk
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    As I pass the dreadlocks' camp I heard them say
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)

    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    (I said) pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    It a gonna burn, give me music make me jump and prance
    It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance

    So I stopped to find out what was going on.
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    'Cause the spirit of Jah, you know he leads you on
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    There was a ring of dreads and a session was there in swing
    (How does it feel when you've got no food?)
    You could feel the chill as I seen and heard them say
    (How does it feel when you've got no food ?)

    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    (I said) pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    It a gonna burn, give me music make me jump and prance
    It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance

    'Cause me say listen to the drummer, me say listen to the bass
    Give me little music make me wind up me waist
    Me say listen to the drummer, me say listen to the bass
    Give me little music make me wind up me waist, (I say)

    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side (I say)
    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    It a gonna burn, give me music make me jump and prance
    It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance

    You play it on the radio, a so me say, we a go hear it on the stereo
    A so me know you a go play it on the disco
    A so me say we a go hear it on the stereo

    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side (I say)
    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side
    It a gonna burn, give me music make me jump and prance
    It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance

    On the left hand side
    (I said)
    On the left hand side
    (I said)
    On the left hand side
    We meet on the left hand side
    (I'm fellin') on the left hand side
    I say east, say west, say north and south (on the left hand side)
    This is gonna make us jump and shout (on the left hand side)
    I say east, say west, say north and south (on the left hand side)
    This is gonna make me be able to jump and shout, I say (on the left hand side) Writer/s: Aaron Brown, Fitzroy Ogilvie Simpson, Headley Bennett, Huford Brown, Jackie Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles, Lloyd Anthony Ferguson, Robbie Lyn, Sharna Evelyn Bass, William Alaneme
    Publisher: Downtown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 49

  • Rs from WiI know what the words mean, but most kids won’t know because they don’t care. It just has a great beat. This should not be a big deal. To me it is just a fun song to hear and has a “feel good” beat! Stop listening to the lyrics and enjoy the song! Love “Stranger Things!” This show touches on a lot of themes that are important to today’s youth. Shout out to Musical Youth, the original boy band!
  • AnonymousTony Owens did not produce Pass the Dutchie.
    It was Peter Collins for Jill Music Ltd
  • Al from Liverpool Spliffs politics dictate that the joint is passed to the person on your left, thus passing the kutchie/dutchie to the left is not an etiquette faux pas, more likely passing to the left is a snub at the upper crust.
  • Taz from JerseyYou're out of your mind. I think that dutchie is far more apropos. It's a "POT" How do YOU "know" it wasn't intentional and tongue-in-cheek? Or have you been "channeling" Marley lately?
  • Johnnyboy from Hollywood, CaI always thought they said "Pass the dutchie 'pon the left hand side. Which would explain why they look like they're saying "From." I assumed that 'pon is a contraction of "upon."
  • Matt from CharlestonA Dutchie is a Dutch Oven. Nothing Jamaican about it except it might more often found in certain settings. I've used the term along with friends since I started camping 60 years ago.
  • Blind Bay Dave from Blind Bay, BcThe song doesn’t say pass it to the left; it says pass it FROM the left - which is the same as passing it to the right - so, the only faux pas here is that you didn’t listen well.
  • Quickie from Ottawa Onatario Canada In regards to looking like they are saying Dutchip, because it is Patois, it may often sound or look like they are saying something else, it depend on the next word spoken, also I notice when my ex's talk, they don't like to use words where they purse their lips, mostly I found because if you talk with rice or a joint in your mouth, it spits out, and hey a lot of patois is spoken doing both, you gotta enjoy poverty somehow right, back then and Now. They very well can mean Dutchie and not Kutchie as Rastafarians or any Jamaican gathering really, they often passed both as they make pots of food on a fire while they congregate as friends or to discuss politics etc. and due to poverty stricken areas especially in Kingston, the pot of cornmeal or maybe dumplings in sauce might get passed around then not requiring to carry cups or bowls, so basically you pass the Kutchie first, then the Dutchie to eat, and sometimes a flask of juice or wine depending if alcohol was accepted, and then obviously the Kutchie again. So I believe the Kutchie was named after the Dutchie (main cooking pot usually with a handle that can hang over a fire ), or the opposite, yet it stands to reason they would have heard Dutchie from their families before giving the nickname Kutchie to the pipe, or the opposit etc. (I will ask the old man), if you listen to "Bob Marley's - No Woman No Cry", you will hear him say they went to the Government Yard In Trenchtown, and they would cook Cornmeal Porridge of which he would share with her etc., which implies the same thing being implied in Pass the Dutchie, they were on Government land so the guard was trying to get them off and accused them of breaking his arm when it was he who attacked them and fell when they were simply eating and get worked up, need to get back to the Islands..xo (another example is when you listen to someone say "Brethren or Bredrin" it sounds often like they are saying "Bridgen" although there is no R, it depends on the person speaking..
  • Maja from UkCHECK THIS OUT!!! Kelvin Grant video premiere:

    Kelvin Grant was official leading member of the iconic British reggae band Musical Youth Kelvin Grant is back with his solo career. Premiere of the solo album titled: "Defend them", produced in Poland during November together with Maleo Reggae Rockers band members will take place at the beginning of new year. We are pleased to announce the first album single: "Defend Them" (music: K-Jah Sound, lyrics: Kelvin Grant), accompanied by the official music video filmed & produced in Malta by House of Peace Productions. Official website:
  • Bob from Lantana, FlIf you look at their mouths for some reason they are saying dutchip, not dutchie. That's what I always heard from the beginning.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 5th 1982, "Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and eleven weeks later on February 20th, 1983 it peaked at #10 {for 2 weeks} and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
    Thirteen years earlier in 1969 B.J. Thomas peaked at #97 with "Pass the Apple, Eve", and in 1972 the JB's {James Brown's backing band} peaked at #95 with "Pass the Peas".
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaEvil earworm's been in my head for 31 years now!
    A classic one hit wonder!

    Rob, from NJ, read carefully -- it was originally "pass the KUTCHIE" which is a spliff! But, for American radio, they switched it to DUTCHIE; THINK, mon, nobody passes a cooking pot 'pon the left-hand side" over & over again! Why DID we always pass a doobie to the left? Oh, clockwise! Got it!
  • Barry from Gagetown Nb Canada, -Yaw Mun ... In Canada a Dutchie is a delicious square sugary glazed doughnut with raisans and cinnamon !! Don't remember ever smoking one ... Mun !!
  • Tom from Detroit, MiThis song is ONLY about smoking weed and nothing else. If you know anything about Jamaican music, this is a popular topic, and the album covers from that era are covered with weed plants and the artists smoking huge spliffs, much like today. Marijuana harvests only once a year, in Jamaica it's anywhere from October to December, the lyric mentioning the month of June is obvious to any pot smoker relying on outdoor grown bud that it's dry season, but if he goes to the Rastafarian camp, they'll smoke him out (let him smoke their marijuana). To a Rasta the Kutchie is a sacramental object, and passing to the left is the proper etiquette. The fact that they changed Kutchie to Dutchie was for radio and TV airplay, and is a widely reported undisputed fact admitted by MCA and talked about in many MTV documentaries. There are hundreds of examples of record labels doing this throughout the history of recorded music. To argue this song is about anything other than smoking pot is like arguing Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back is about the obesity epidemic.
  • Juan from Spokane, WaIt's a song about oppression, man! :}) It doesn't matter if tyranny comes from some lords, wearing powder wigs, or some Rastafarians, wearing dreadlocks.
    Watch the video again . . .
    Being told to pass by the left side is saying that you have to be last in line - only getting a share if anything is left. It doesn't matter if its a bite or a hit.
    Musical Youth's song is about how the music industry oppresses new artists (chuckle) . . . "Music happen to be the food of love."
    The song is about music; reread the lyrics . . . P.S. if you don't think eleven-year-olds might smoke pot; wake up!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyTheir only U.S. Top 100 record; but did manage to make the Top 10, peaked at No. 10 and stayed in the Top 100 for 18 weeks!!!
  • Mike from Birmingham Uk, United KingdomWell what an interesting lot of reading, I actually grew up with these lads and in Winson Green area. They had to change the words slightly for polical reasons as they were considered too young to know about marijuana, "How does it feel when you have food" should read "How does it feel when you have no weed" and the dutchie is a dutch pot, a jamaican cooking vessel but the word kutchie had to be changed to dutchie for the same reasons above. I visit the grave sometimes too.
  • Magda from Cornwall, United KingdomThese kids grew up on council estates in Brirmingham, and there's not much chance of being protected from the seedier side of life on a council estate in Birmingham - I speak from experience.
    The thing is, this song has so many referecnces - to food and the breaking of ettiquette, hence passing food from the left.
    Marijuana, without doubt, dutchie? Jamaican flag colours in the video? Rasta camp? Come on people. too obvious or words really.
    Dutchie is a Jamiacan cooking pot. A refernece to starving people perhaps? Their heritage? Their preference of music?
    Passing it form the left hand - could be a reference to Left-Wing Politics - with a stretch of the imagination of course.
    Basically, this song, to the singers, was probably just about singing music they liked, referencing things they knew about. To the writers, this song could be anything from a refernce to drugs to protesting against abject poverty and racial discrimination (shown in the video).
    There is no right or wrong answer because songs, like poems, are all about personal interpretation - Just remember CCAAPTT Context, Content, Audience, Attitude, Purpose, Themes and Tone and make up your own mind.
  • Betj from Lima, OhDoes anyone remember when Homer Simpson made a reference to this song in an eppisode of the Simpsons? Cracked me up!!
  • Dave from Ocala, FlAlthough Musical Youth's cover of the song is about being hungry from poverty, there is NO QUESTION that the ORIGINAL Mighty Diamonds version, "Pass The Kouchie," written by F. Simpson/L. Fergusson, is about smoking marijuana. Not only the mention of 'kouchie' or pipe, but singing overtly about "herb." Here are the original lyrics. No more debate should be necessary. Although the meaning of most of lyrics escapes me:

    Pass the kouchie 'pon the lef' hand side
    Pass the kouchie 'pon the lef' hand side
    It a go bun, it a go dung, Jah know

    It was a cool and lovely breezy afternoon
    (How does it feel when you've got no herb?)
    You could feel it 'cause it was the month of June
    (If you got no herb you will walk an' talk)
    So I lef' my gate and went out for a walk
    As I pass the dreadlocks' camp I hear them say
    (How do dey sing when you heard dem sing?)

    Pass the kouchie 'pon the lef' hand side
    Pass the kouchie 'pon the lef' hand side
    It a go bun, it a go dung, Jah know

    So I stopped to find out what was going on.
    (How do you find when you make your stuff?)
    For the spirit of Jah, you know he leads me on
    (Them all have a leaf at the dreadlocks' camp)
    There was a ring of dreads and a session was there in swing
    I could feel the chill as I see and heard them say
    (How do dey sing when you heard dem sing?)

    Pass the kouchie 'pon the lef' hand side
    Pass the kouchie 'pon the lef' hand side
    It a go bun, it a go dung, Jah know
  • Greg from Brantford, On... um... dutchie is also short for a type of joint, a dutch tulip???
  • Bob from Orlando, FlDont you see this song means all this... It is about poverty for those who want to believe it's about poverty and about weed for the people who want to believe it's about weed. When I had no knowledge and heard the song for the first time, I thought seriously they were talking about passing the dutch the dutch masters... I didn't even know it was a remake of a marijuana referenced song. In all peace and war issues, this song went global because of the wide meaning of this song.... Clever, why could they never produce another good hit? Well you see no one wants to buy into fakes, so there normal pop love songs and politcal nonsenses meant nothing anymore... And if they stood up for the rights as Bob Marley puts it they would of sung freely about marijuana the greatest plant on earth.... So this song is two meanings, believe what you want, but the true fact is, they knew exactly what they were producing to be able to sell it as a hit. DONE!
  • Jumaine from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, MdDutchie referred to a cooking pot. In the original, Pass the Kutchie, the Mighty Diamonds is referring to marijuanna. Just so happens that "dutchie" was a close enough replacement to "kutchie." By adding, "how does it feel when you got no food," the Musical Youths was able to transform it into a hit about food without changing much of the lyrics of the song. Pretty clever.
  • Derrick from Minneapolis, MnThis song is so about smokin' the pot. Why are joints called a left handed cigarette? as far as it being a cooking pot, duh! Why do you think they call weed, pot. Because it was originally smoked in clay pots. bum ditty,bum, bum pass it to the left one. OUT!
  • Krista from Elyria, OhRob is right! Dutchie means cooking pot! This song was on VH1 classic's top 100 one hit wonders!They said it meant cooking pot!
  • Sarah from New Havcen, CtAll of the above statements are true. Anyway, it is a pop song...when does a pop song have a singular theme or consistent symbolism? Sometimes they are just fun.
  • Sarah-beth from Bejing, LaRob you are ridiculous. this song is about the illegal drug marijuana. you must be high if you're denying the subject of this song. so share the wealth and pass me the freakin dutchie biatch!
  • Andrew from Tampa, FlThe part about this song I never understood is...
    Late in the song, you here a "beep beep" that sounds like the Warner Bros. cartoon Roadrunner. I could never figure out why it's in there...
  • Ted from Berkshires, MaIt always reminded me of the phrase, "pas de deux" -- a classical dance move -- but "on the left hand side" is more like a contra dance or old colonial dance idea ... to me it's about dancing. This was kind of an old dance that young people do ... passing the dutchie...
    I saw Lon Cheney walking with the queen
    I saw the rastaman touch his toes
    I saw the lady riding on a tiger
    I saw Black Jack Heart Attack flying a kite
    They were all passing the dutchie
    On the left hand side
  • Michael from Idaho Falls, IdJunkies? Man, where is the love? We prefer the term "Sobriety-Impaired" and if you honestly think that this song isn't about smoking pot... well... "As I passed the dredlocks camp I heard them say..." Right. They're talking about watching a bunch of rastafarians.. eating out of a cooking pot.. because that's what rastafarians do, right?
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhThat was quite thorough. The original song is about marijuana, but this version is not. Considering that it is a cover, it doesn't really matter what the original lyrics said. This song was remade because it had a good beat, and a great hook. Not because all the kids were junkies, which they very well could have been.
  • Alfa from Cancon, United StatesThe Truth of Musical Youth

    The beginning
    When Musical Youth started in the late 1970s, it was the brothers Michael and Kelvin Grant and Patrick and Junior (Frederick) Waite, with Fred Waite (Patrick and Junior's dad) who sang the lead and who coached the very young boys. Fred had been a part of The Techniques, who had some success in Jamaica. They recorded one 7" single: "Political/Generals" with Fred as lead singer. Shortly after that, the legendary BBC discjockey John Peel discovered them and did a 'Peel session' with Musical Youth. Shortly after that, they found themselves signed to MCA Records and Freddie Waite backed out, as it wasn't appropriate for a man of his age to be in a band called "Musical Youth". Dennis Seaton was recruited as the new lead singer and the recordings for their first album started.
    The success
    The success started with their debut single for MCA: "Pass The Dutchie", which became a worldwide smash, hitting number one around the globe and even entering the top 10 in the US. The song was a cover of the Mighty Diamonds' "Pass The Koutchie", but the word 'koutchie' was replaced by 'dutchie' (a Jamaican cooking pot from Dutch origin), as koutchie referred to marihuana. The sophomore single "Youth Of Today" had a more varied success, becoming a top 10 hit in several countries, but not even hit higher than #16 in their native country UK. Several hits with minor success followed: "Never Gonna Give You Up" (UK #8) and "Heartbreaker" from their debut album 'The Youth Of Today' and "007", "Tell Me Why", "16" and "She's Trouble" from 'Different Style', as well as a duet with Donna Summer: "Unconditional Love" from Summer's 'She Works Hard For The Money' LP. After the unexpected success of "Dutchie" and the debut album, MCA wanted Musical Youth to make a more US orientated album, which became 'Different Style' , with disco-influences and popsoul. The album failed to chart and after just one more single, the Eddie Grant penned and produced "Let's Go To The Moon" in 1984, it was over for Musical Youth. Dennis Seaton left the band in 1985 to pursue a solo carreer and the group disbanded

    After the success
    Dennis recorded an album for the German Bellaphon label in 1989, which reunited him with his idol Stevie Wonder, who had written and produced "Whatcha Walking 'Bout" for 'Different Style' They rerecorded the song for Dennis' solo debut 'Imagine That', plus a new song, "See U Later". Again, this release wasn't a real succes, and Dennis started working, only performing with his new band XMY in his spare time. In the meanwhile, Patrick Waite had hit the news in Birmingham several times for his criminal activities. Sadly enough, Patrick died of heart condition on February 18, 1993 when awaiting court appearance. Michael Grant has been the only former Musical Youth member whose carreer in the musci business kept on going, first recording with 5AM and later with his production and remix team under the same name. His brother Kelvin stays a bit of a mystery until today and Junior Waite had a nervous breakdown and sadly hasn't recovered.

  • Sherry from Honolulu, Hi"Cooking pot", "Smoking pot".....not really that different :)
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesNatasha, Chico, CA - unfortunately, the band imploded when the extent of the members' drug problems were revealed, and two were subsequently locked up for possession
  • Ariel from _______, Njalot of people roll blunts with dutch master cigars...dutchies?
  • Kaza from London, EnglandThough da song has many pot smokin words. like its gonna burn. and pass da dutchie to the left. its all aboot finding away out of an opression. So they filled it with music. its notta aboot drugs man. passing da dutchie was passing da food of love. they were mostly more so they passd the cooking pot ( not da weed) da food is da music, man. da first line in da song is music happen to be da food of life
  • Elson from Los Angeles, Ca"A "Dutchie" is a Jamaican cooking pot."

    Even though they changed the marijuana reference, it's still about "pot" heheh.
  • Brian from Meriden, CtThis song uses a lot of symbolism. Not just weed references. "On the LEFT hand side" has a lot to do with the political side so inter-woven with Island cultural, social and religious beliefs and ideology shared by many. They sing about poverty and oppression and turn to this "Left-hond side" as they inhale the sweetness of a vision of a brighter future.
  • Craig from Madison, WiI constantly get down on people who think that certain songs are about drugs when they are not, but I'm not deaf: This is about marijuana. Best song ever about marijuana sung by a pre-teen.
  • Gfdhhgfd from Gfr, Maits blatantly about being hungry - pass the dutchie (cooking pot) 'how does it feel when you've got no food.' As for Pass the kutchie wel that needs no explaining
  • Dan from Amsterdam, AzHuh! I never cook my pot before I smoke it. Hey and I'm dutch and I'm supposed to know that you pass the dutchie (joint) on the left hand side. As you might know Holland is a big producer of marihuana.
  • Kevin from Babylon, Nyhow could anyone who not understand the drug reference in this song? (granted the words were replaced)
  • Nathan from Apeldoorn, NetherlandsThere was definitely NO drug reference. Rob's comment is completely true. These guys were even too young to even think of drugs back in the days!
    Abother fact about this song: the so called 'riddim' that the song is based on, is the "Full Up" riddim. Lots and lots more info on Musical Youth soon online @
  • Shell from Riverdale, GaEven with the lyric change the drug reference was still clear, at least to pot smokers like I was at the time. When you get high one of the side effects is a desire to eat, so "Pass The Dutchie" means "Pass the food, man, I got a bad case of the Munchies." Side note: One of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments is loss of appetite and some doctors encourage (prescribe where legal) pot usage to increase appetite.
  • Natasha from Chico, Caah, song brings back memories. i remember watching the video & my brother taped it. What happened to the group?
  • Ramusia from South Farica, Thohoyandou, United StatesFirst of all i would like to congradulate the group that played the song "pass the Duchie". i like this song because hwn it plays ifeel like i am within the group which is doing the best out of the rest, i don't smoke even the chalie but i like reggae music as it makes me fell free, and when this song play i feel like i am smoking marijuana. jah guide, jah bless ahoy!!
  • Ariel from Woodbridge, Ctdutchie is a cooking pot, the lyric was changed to dutchie from kutchie, which means a pot pipe
  • Icy from New Albany, MsRob, are you actually gonna try to tell me that a reggae group cares about cooking?
  • Rob from Bayonne, NjHas absolutely NOTHING to do with Marijuana.In Jamaica a DUTCHIE is a cooking pot not smoking pot!
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