Two Mighty Diamond Members Die in Jamaica, Group Known for 'Pass the Kouchie'

Jamaica’s The Mighty Diamonds: (from left) Lloyd "Judge" Ferguson, Donald "Tabby" Shaw and Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson

Tabby Diamond and Bunny Diamond of the reggae group the Mighty Diamonds died within four days of each other in Jamaica. Tabby (neé Donald Shaw) was killed in a drive-by shooting on March 29 and Bunny (Fitzroy Simpson) succumbed to diabetes on April 1.

Five people were hit with two dying in the St. Andrew South area shooting. Shaw was 67. Simpson was 70. The only remaining member of the trio is Lloyd "Judge" Ferguson.

The Mighty Diamonds were founded in 1967, but didn't release their first album until 1976. Their best-known song, 1981's "Pass the Kouchie," is about ganja. One year later, Musical Youth's cover of the song, "Pass the Dutchie," was a No. 10 hit in the U.S.

"Pass the Kouchie" is based on the 1968 song "Full Up" by Leroy Sibbles.

Pass the kutchie pon the lef' hand side

When the MIghty Diamonds' "Pass the Kouchie" was released in Jamaica, it was banned by the government which opposed "kouchie culture." 

Pass the kutchie 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?)

The Musical Youth version changed "kouchie" to "dutchie" and "herb" to "food" in order to further obscure the song's meaning.

Pass the Dutchie 'pon the left hand side
It a go bun (give me the music, make me jump and prance)

It was a cool and lonely breezy afternoon
(How does it feel when you've got no food?)

In 2003, Missy Elliot released "Pass That Dutch." It is not a cover of "Pass the Kouchie" or "Pass the Dutchie." By then, Dutch was a reference to a cigar used to make blunts.

This article was posted on March 30. It has been updated.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.