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What does the song "Whip It" mean, anyway?

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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 10:58 AM
Original message
What does the song "Whip It" mean, anyway?
The song by Devo, if anyone isn't familiar with it.

WHIP IT

crack that whip give the past the slip step on a crack break your momma's back when a problem comes along you must whip it before the cream sits out too long you must whip it when something's going wrong you must whip it now whip it into shape shape it up get straight go forward move ahead try to detect it it's not too late to whip it whip it good when a good time turns around you must whip it you will never live it down unless you whip it no one gets their way until they whip it i say whip it whip it good


I LOVE the song, but what the hell does it mean?

Any other songs you just can't figure out? Maybe someone in the lounge knows!
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Nevermind!
Edited on Fri Dec-03-04 11:00 AM by Bouncy Ball
Just found this:

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.lasso?id=722

"Whip It, like many Devo songs, had a long gestation, a long process. The lyrics were written by me as an imitation of Thomas Pynchon's parodies in his book Gravity's Rainbow. He had parodied limericks and poems of kind of all-American, obsessive, cult of personality ideas like Horatio Alger and 'You're #1, there's nobody else like you' kind of poems that were very funny and very clever. I thought, 'I'd like to do one like Thomas Pynchon,' so I wrote down 'Whip It' one night. Mark had recorded some sketches for song ideas in his apartment, and when we'd get together every day to write, rehearse and practice, we would listen to everybody's snippets of ideas. He had this tape with about 8 things on it, and one of them had a drum beat that was very interesting, it became the 'Whip It' drum beat. Then 3 other songs had pieces of what became the 'Whip It' song, except they were in different time signatures and different tempos. I put them all together into one composition. All the parts of the song got rolled into one song. Then we started putting the lyrics over the top of it and liked the idea of how it was working out. We started practicing it every day, until we got it to the point where we really liked it and we thought it was really snappy. Then we recorded it. We didn't like it any better or any less than any of the other songs we were doing, and we had no idea it would become a hit."

So, um, I take it it means nothing?
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SheepyMcSheepster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. cool
i was wondering. thanks for the info!
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. i am sure it has ablolutely no hidden meaning... yea sure
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Go to the link I provided
the interview with Devo members gets more interesting and you find out more about what it means and what they let people think it meant.

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Phillycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Yes, well, I think they may be...you know...lying. :)
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fryguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. excellent link
now I'm not going to get ANY work done while I try and figure out what so many songs mean....

:bounce:
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MatrixEscape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. It is an older ideom:
You can "whip" a foe or enemy, or a problem.

Then, combine that with some sado-masochistic undertones, and food, and you have a great Devo song.

Don't worry, just WHIP IT! WHIP IT GOOD!
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's a Double-Entendre
The overt meaning of the song has to do with solving problems, right? (Some of the lines don't refer to that, but that's the gist.)

The covert meaning has to do with sado-masochism.

Hearing "Whip it!" over and over was perceived as sexy, dangeous, and something you weren't supposed to hear on the radio.

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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. Devo loves paradox
eg. "Freedom of choice is what you got, freedom from choice is what you want."

I think the song espouses a sunny optimism about mastering any problem that comes your way but the converse interpretation is that when a problem comes a long ...how can I say this...self-stimulate (?)
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Check out the link I gave
they actually say they meant nothing about sadism or beating off, etc, but they quickly realized people thought so, so they just let people think it.

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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Paul McCartney only recently admitted that Lucy in The Sky
was not based on a drawing brought home by John's son.

Was it Gerald Ford who used the slogan "Whip Inflation Now"?
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CarbonDate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
12. It's about masterbation
And if it wasn't, then they did a bad job of writing the song. IMO.
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stranger_with_candy Donating Member (549 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
13. S & M
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