From Gangnam Style to The Harlem Shake, viral movements sweep the Internet frequently.
But the current craze takes a fair amount of talent, so most of us won’t be able to partake.
The Cup Song movement was made popular by Pitch Perfect, a movie that came out in 2012 about a college singing group. It stars Twilight’s Anna Kendrick and Bridesmaids’ Rebel Wilson. During Kendrick’s audition for the singing group, she sits on the floor with a solo cup, clapping and beating rhythmically on it while she sings “When I’m Gone.” The song is from 1937 by Mainer’s Mountaineers, but the version Kendrick sang is by Lulu and the Lampshades.
Last May, Kendrick was asked to perform the Cup Song on David Letterman which kicked off a wave of copycats.
Kendrick wasn’t the first person to perform The Cup Song, though. The song and the cup percussion first appeared in 2008 when a Youtube user uploaded a video showing people how to use a plastic cup as a song beat. A few months later, Lulu and the Lampshades performed their version with cups on Youtube.
Now, when you Google “Cup Song,” 377,000,000 results pop up, 131 million of which are videos. Many have millions of views. They’re mostly performed by teenagers and women in their early 20’s, the same crowd that watched Pitch Perfect, and many are making their own lyrics and renditions. There are also a lot of how-to videos about it.
The Cup Song not easy to learn (I tried and failed over Easter to be taught by college-age cousin, although I think I nailed the cup portion).
Here’s Kendrick performing it on David Letterman:
Here are two girls singing it as a duet (they have more than 5 million views on YouTube):
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