Song Name: That's Pep

Artist: DEVO

Appears On: Freedom Of Choice

Run Time: 2:17

Year Recorded: 1979

Year Released: 1980

Writing Credits: Mark Mothersbaugh [Grace G. Bostwick, uncredited*]

Years Performed: [1] 2009 (Freedom of Choice shows only)

Sung By: Mark Mothersbaugh

Alternate Versions: None

Demo Versions: Freedom of Choice Home Version Demo

Song Connections: None

Trivia / Info:Edit

♦Lyrics from the poem "Pep" by Grace G. Bostwick. First published in The American Magazine (October, 1919 ).
This poem was widely reprinted in the early 1920s. Some reprintings title the poem "That's Pep!" [2]

Onstage Behavior:

  • Josh holds one arm out and one arm across his forehead after some cymbal crashes
  • Bob1 stomps his foot throughout the song and raises his arm straight up to some cymbal crashes
  • Jerry marches in place with his fists pumping and motions with his arms to some cymbal crashes
  • Mark marches in place with his fists pumping, and at the start of the second verse, takes off his energy dome and holds it to his chest
  • Bob2 dances side to side with his fists pumping YouTube


Vigor vim vitality and punch
The ability to act on a sudden hunch
Nerve to tackle the hardest thing
Feet that climb and hands that cling
A heart that never forgets to sing
That's pep
That's pep
That's pep
Sand and grit in a concrete base
A friendly smile on an honest face
A spirit that helps when another's down
Knows how to scatter the blackest frown
Love's it's neighbor love's it's town
That's pep
That's pep
That's pep
That's pep
Say "I will" for you know you can
Look for the best in every man
Meet each thundering knockout blow
Come back with a smile 'cause you know
You get the best of the whole damn show
That's pep
That's pep
That's pep
That's pep
That's pep
That's pep
You know that's pep

Original Poem:

Vigor, Vitality, Vim and Punch —
That's Pep!
The courage to act on a sudden hunch —
That's Pep!
The nerve to tackle the hardest thing
With feet that climb and hands that cling,
And a heart that never forgets to sing —
That's Pep!

Sand and grit on a concrete base —
That's Pep!
Friendly smile on an honest face —
That's Pep!
The spirit that helps when another's down,
That knows how to scatter the darkest frown,
That loves its neighbor and loves its town —
That's Pep!

To say "I will" - for you know you can —
That's Pep!
To look for the best in every man —
That's Pep!
To meet each thundering knockout blow
And come back with a laugh, for well you know
You'll get the best of the whole darn show —
That's Pep!


  1. DEVO Live Guide. Website keyword search for "that's pep".
  2. Ohio State University. Ohio State Engineer, vol. 7, no. 4 (May, 1924), 14-15. "That's Pep!" By Grace G. Bostwick. PDF, page 3.

External Links:

That's Pep (recording) MusicBrainz
YouTube. That's Pep! (Remastered) "Provided to YouTube by Warner Music Group".

Mark Mothersbaugh | Gerry Casale | Bob Mothersbaugh
Bob Lewis | Bob Casale | Jim Mothersbaugh | Alan Myers
David Kendrick | Josh Freese & Jeff Friedl | Josh Hager
Record Labels / Publishers
Booji Boy Records | Warner Brothers | Enigma | Devo, Inc. 
Stiff | Virgin | Rykodisk | Infinite Zero | Restless | Discovery | Rhino 
MVD Audio | The Orchard | Superior Viaduct | Futurismo
Brian Eno | Ken Scott | Robert Margouleff | Roy Thomas Baker | DEVO 
The Teddybears | Greg Kurstin | Santi White | John King | John Hill | Mark Nishita 
Official Studio Albums
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) | Duty Now For The Future (1979) | Freedom of Choice (1980) | New Traditionalists (1981) | oh, no! it's DEVO (1982) | Shout (1984) | Total DEVO (1988) | SmoothNoodleMaps (1990) | Something for Everybody   (2010)
Other Albums
Be Stiff EP (1977) | E-Z Listening Disc (1987) | Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace (1989) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 1 74-77 (1990) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 2 1974-1977 (1991) | DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years (1992) | DEV-O Live (1999) | Recombo DNA (2000) | Live In Central Park (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle (2012) | Something ELSE for Everybody  (2013) | Miracle Witness Hour  (2014) | Live at Max's Kansas City - November 15, 1977  (2014) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
The Men Who Make The Music (1981) | Human Highway (1982) | We're All DEVO (1984) | The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (1993) | DEVO Live (2004) | DEVO Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
Related Articles
History | Bootlegs | Booji Boy | Devolution | Influence | The Wipeouters | Jihad Jerry & The Evildoers | Devo 2.0 | Akron, Ohio | Music Videos | Versions | Outfits

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