Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Pass the Dutchie

Oftentimes, lightning only strikes once for many singers and bands. My A-Z Challenge for 2014 will focus on those glorious "one hit wonders" spanning the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Some are my favorite songs, others are just plain memorable (for better or for worse). Join me in celebrating these 26 one hit wonders in pop music

I was 10 years old back in 1982, and I was home, in bed, and sick with something. A radio at my bedside played Musical Youth's "Pass the Dutchie" at least 20 times that day, and all 20 times, my 10 year old brain tried to decipher the damn lyrics.

Even if I had known the lyrics, it wouldn't have helped.

Regardless, the reggae hit sold 5 MILLION copies. Not bad for a group of young, poor kids from the UK (with parents from Jamaica). The song is  cover of "Pass the Koutchie," which was most definitely about smoking weed. And I remember even as a kid, the discussion of "What is that song about?" was a topic we argued about on the bus ride home from school.

But the word "dutchie" refers to a different kind of pot. A pot for cooking. And the song itself was a statement about living in poverty. The song was an international hit, peaking at #10 here in the States and hitting #1 in the UK and all over the world.

Musical Youth got to work with Donna Summer and even got a Grammy nomination for their work. But within three years, their work got mostly ignored by the music industry. The band dissolved in 1985. Wow, talk about burning out quickly. One of the members died suddenly at the age of 24. He had been in and out of juvenile jail for most of his teen years, but he collapsed due to a hereditary heart condition.

Two members of Musical Youth reunited in 2001, and they did perform somewhere in Europe in 2005 as a duo. "Pass the Dutchie" is still a fun song, and once in a great while, I'll hear it on some tiny radio station while traveling through the middle of nowhere America.


13 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

Believe it or not, I have this song on my phone. Lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I'll have that in my head all day...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I bet that would've been a good skating song.

Tony Laplume said...

I didn't even know about this song until one of those VH-1 countdowns. It's pretty catchy.

The Desert Rocks & Intangible Hearts said...

I love reggae but kids singing it is even better!

Julie Flanders said...

Had no idea this was about a pot for cooking.

Robin said...

As Lee says, "Oh no. This is an earworm song." Yep. I will likely be humming it all day now.

David P. King said...

I had a roommate who was really into Ska music, and he played this one all the time. :)

Jenna Howard said...

I didn't remember it until I hit play.

And now it will be in my head ALL day. Thanks, Jay. Thanks a lot.

Pat Dilloway said...

I had assumed it meant the pot you smoke. Now I know...and knowing is half the battle!

farawayeyes said...

Remember the song but before now I would not have been able to tell you who did it, what it was about or much else. A lot if reggae is like that.

Mr. Shife said...

Remember the song but wasn't a huge fan. Unfortunately I now have an ear worm. Thanks Jay. =)

N J Magas said...

Nope, still before me. I'll try again tomorrow. :P

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