Monday, April 6, 2020

Musical Monday - Pass the Dutchie by Musical Youth

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: October 2, 1982 through October 16, 1982.

Sometimes a song pops into the charts that is kind of an outlier. This song, a reggae song originally about smoking marijuana with its lyrics cleaned up to be about cooking with a dutch oven and sung by a quintet of teenagers, is certainly an outlier. If you had asked pretty much anyone in, say, August of 1982 what kind of song would be number one on the U.K. Charts in October of 1982, I seriously doubt if anyone would have predicted this.

The odd thing about this song is that the attempt to clean up the original lyrics didn't work at all. The song originally was titled "Pass the kouchie" and had lyrics that made direct drug references like 'How does it feel when you have no herb". To put the into the mouths of a group of teens in a palatable way, the title was changed to refer to a "Dutchie" or dutch oven, and lines referring to herb were changed to "food". The thing is, this didn't work - "dutchie" was almost immediately adopted as a slang term for a cannabis pipe, transforming the song back into one laden with drug references.

Oh well, sometimes the best efforts of gods and men all come to naught.

Previous Musical Monday: Jack and Diane by John Cougar
Subsequent Musical Monday: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? by Culture Club

Previous #1 on the UK Chart: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Subsequent #1 on the UK Chart: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? by Culture Club

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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