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Pass the dutchie (Musical Youth) (Jamaican patois)
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Reggae from the 80's. Some of the sentences are in Patois, which is a Creole language spoken in Jamaica (English with a heavy African influence and some Spanish too). Another example of Jamaican Patois (at least heavily influenced by it) is the song Informer, reggae sang by a white Canadian musician.

This generation
Rules the nation
With version

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

Dan-ba-dam
Ba-dam-bam lee-bom bee-lee-bom
Dan bee-lee bee-lee bee-lee bee-lee bee-lee bee-lee-bom

I say
Pass the dutchiepon the left hand side
Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
It a go burn
Gimme the music make me jump and prance
It a go done
Gimme the music make me rock in a dee-dance

It was a cool and lonely breezy afternoon
   how does it feel when ya got no food?
And you could feel it ‘cause it was the month of June
   how does it feel when ya got no food? 
So I left my gate and went out for a walk
   how does it feel when ya got no food? 
As I passed the dreadlocks' camp I heard them say
   how does it feel when ya got no food? 

Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
I say
Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
It a go burn
Gimme the music make me jump and prance
It a go done
Gimme the music make me rock in a dee-dance

Won-won ba-dee-dee-won bee-lee-bom
Won-won ba-dee-dee-won bee-lee bee-lee-bom, yeah

So I stopped to find out what was going on
   how does it feel when ya got no food? 
‘Cause the spirit of Jah you know he leads you on
   how does it feel when ya got no food? 
There was a ring of dreads and a session was there in swing
   how does it feel when ya got no food? 
And you could feel the chill as I seen and heard them sing
   how does it feel when ya got no food? 

Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
I say
Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
It a go burn
Gimme the music make me jump and prance
It a go done
Gimme the music make me rock in a dee-dance

Me say listen to the drum
And me say listen to the bass
Gimme little music make me wine up me waist
Me say listen to the drum
And me say listen to the bass
Gimme little music make me wine up me waist

I say
Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
I say
Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
It a go burn
Gimme the music make me jump and prance
It a go done
Gimme the music make me rock in a dee-dance

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

Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
I say
Pass the dutchie ‘pon the left hand side
It a go burn
gimme the music make me jump and prance
It a go done
gimme the music make me rock in a dee-dance

On the left hand side
I say, on the left hand side
I say, on the left hand side
- meep-meep -
On the left hand side
Bene
On the left hand side

And me say east me say west
Me say north and south
This is gonna really make me jump and try
And me say east me say west
Me say north and south
This is gonna really make me jump and try
I say
Pass ...

The group is from Birmingham, England, but they are children to Jamaican parents and they use a lot of Patois (Jamaican Creole language) in this song, so be ready for a strange pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.
Patois (pronounced "patwah") is a variety of English used in Jamaica which has a strong influence of African dialects and some Spanish too. Here are some examples of patois:
- Mi come here fi drink milk, mi noh come here fi count cow = I've come here to drink milk, I haven't come here to count cows.
- Mi a-go lef today = I'm leaving today
- Dat is fe mi bredda = That is my brother
- Kum bah ya me Lord = Come (by) here, my Lord (a religious song famous all over the world)
- Ef yuh choble 'im me a-go hit yuh =If you trouble him I am going to hit you
- Coo pon dat bwoy =look at that boy

So, if you thought in the beginning that this song is difficult to understand, now you know that it is, in fact, very close to Standard English, not fully Patois. And now, the explanations for the lyrics:

RULE= To govern, to exercise control.

VERSION= No idea what it means in this context.

MUSIC ‘APPEN TO BE...= In standard English it should be "music happens to be...". It means, more or less, "in case you didn’t know it, I’ll tell you that music is the food of love".

SOUNDS TO REALLY MAKE YOU RUB= Music sounds in such a way that it really makes you rub; The sound of music makes you rub and scrub.

RUB= To apply friction

SCRUB= To rub hard in order to clean. The phrase "rub and scrub" refers to cleaning, removing stains, so here it is a metaphor for "to purify".

DUTCHIE= A Jamaican cooking pot.

ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE= They pronounce THE as "thee" and make the H in "Hand" silent, so it sounds: on thee left 'and side. ‘PON (dialectal)= Upon. This preposition is dialectal or old-fashioned (often used in poetry). It means ON, e.g. "Her hand gently rested upon my face".

IT A GO BURN= It’s going to burn (Jamaican grammar).

PRANCE= To jump or to walk with exaggerated movements.

IT A GO DONE= It’s going to be finished (Jamaican grammar).

DEE-DANCE= Dance

BREEZY= With a breeze (a nice gentle wind) blowing.

WHEN YA GOT NO FOOD= When you have no food, when you haven’t got any food.

‘CAUSE= Because

I LEFT MY GATE= I went out of my house (GATE is the door to your garden)

THE DREADLOCKS'= The Raftafarians (people having a hairstyle typical from Jamaica, the one made popular all over the world by Bob Marley). "Dreadlocks" is the name for that hairstyle, but we say "the dreadlocks" to refer in general to that kind of people. Raftafarians, or Raftafaris or Raftas, are followers of a new religion that accepts Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, as God incarnate, called Jah or Jah Rastafari. He is also seen as part of the Holy Trinity, as the messiah promised in the Bible to return (so he is the second coming of Jesus). They use cannabis as a spiritual help and also have political and social objectives, trying to liberate people from poverty, although they do nothing about it (maybe because cannabis makes them too lazy to do anything about it).

GOING ON= Happening

JAH= A name for God. It is used mainly by the Rastafari movement, but it is a Hebrew name found in the Bible (the first part of the name "Yahveh"). We can also find it in the expression Hallelujah, which literally means "praise God".

DREADS= Dreadlocks, Rastafarians
A RING OF DREADS= A group of Rastas sitting in a circle.

IN SWING= At a high level of activity.

THE CHILL= The cold.

I SEEN THEM= I saw them.

ME SAY= I say

BASS= An electric guitar with low tones. (pronounced /beɪs/ in standard English, but they say /bɪəs/)

GIMME (coll.)= Give me.

WINE UP= Wind up, Twist (as when dancing)

ME WAIST= My waist. Your waist is the narrow part where your legs join the rest of your body.

WE A GO HEAR IT= We’re going to hear it.

GONNA= Going to

This song was number one all over the world in 1982. Based on a song about cannabis by Mighty Diamonds, "Pass The Kouchie" (KOUCHIE= a marijuana pipe), the title was subtly altered and "kouchie" changed to "dutchie", a Jamaican Creole word referring to a type of pot used for cooking (it has a Dutch origin, hence the name). The lyrics were also adapted with some little changes to turn a song about marijuana into a mild political protest about the extreme poverty you can find in Jamaica (and other countries), that's why they insistently ask the question "How does it feel when ya got no food?".

This song is full of political symbolism. When you pass something at the table, etiquette says the person on the left has to pass it, so you always pass things on the right hand side (to the right). Breaking the etiquette and passing things on the LEFT hand side is a political reference easily understood at a time when the island was ruled by a rightist party.

There's also a lot of symbolism about music and dance, being music "the food of love", so singing, dancing and sharing food together is the image of people united in love and harmony. 

3:20            
 
 

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