Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie” wasn’t entirely original, but it wasn’t an out-and-out cover either. Because of their young age – the members were all aged between 11 and 16 at the time – the group took the foundation of The Mighty Diamonds’ marijuana-referencing “Pass the Kouchie” and changed the lyrics to something more family-friendly. The “Dutchie” in the title refers to a Dutch Oven, also known as a Dutch Pot, which is commonly used in Caribbean cooking.
The Mighty Diamonds’ “Pass the Kouchie” might have led the way for “Pass the Dutchie,” but it was Musical Youth’s single that conquered the charts worldwide. It sold 100,000 copies in the UK on its first day of release alone and went on to top the singles charts in 11 countries around the world, including the UK, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. In the US, meanwhile, it crashed into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, far surpassing “Pass the Kouchie” – a hit in Jamaica but with less commercial success further afield.