Jim Dalling’s Pop Psychology November 1980

So. I’m a counsellor working in Downtown Dartmouth. I used to work as a wedding DJ. Music is still a big part of my life. Moving with music is both restorative and revitalizing for me. I’m writing the blog series in my 45th year to explore how music impacts my life. 45 songs, 45 singles – like the old 45’s I used to collect – one for each year – and a bit of meaning that I associate with them.

As the years roll along choosing a song to write about has become more difficult. November 1980 was another bumper month for music. The top 40 included songs by Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, and Dianna Ross as well as The Boss with Hungry Heart debuting at number 30.

At the 17 spot sat Devo’s New Wave classic Whip it. “New Wave Classic”. It seems odd – a song that’s both ‘new’ and ‘classic’ at the same time. As a Gestaltist I see these kinds of polarities in myself and my clients all of the time. Part of the work we do in my office is coming to terms with the fact that as humans our lives can contain seemingly incompatible aspects. When I was an angst-ridden Nirvana-loving youth I saw this through the eyes of Holden Caulfield. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy. Now? I realize that life isn’t that simple. Oh how I wish it were.

I love pretty much everything about new wave music in general and specifically Whip it.

This is a song about opportunity. A song about living in the present and making the most of life. Moving forward. Shaping up.

So… Whip it?  Good.

Bonus song:

I traveled all over North America performing and teaching. This next song has been with me for years. It speaks to the sense of levity enjoyed by traveling performers. It is a song of joy and flow.

The life I love is making music with my friends… those words still give me chills. I’m a therapist who loves Willie. I hope you do too.

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