A simple movie scene has turned into a huge phenomenon, as fans of “Pitch Perfect” sing while keeping rhythm by clapping and banging a plastic cup.
“Pitch Perfect,” starring Anna Kendrick, was a major hit with girls. The movie starts off when freshman Becca Mitchell first arrives at her new school Barden University. She gets pressured into joining an all girls acapella group and experiences the extreme tension the competition has to give. To audition for the group she sings “When I’m Gone,” accompanying herself by turning a cup over, tapping it and clapping.
The song has become known simply as “The Cup Song,” and numerous fan versions have attracted attention on youtube.
As the Cup Song sweeps the nation, many Rio Americano students are picking up the hobby.
“It was actually pretty easy to learn,” freshman Jordan Davey said. “I rewatched the scene from the movie over and over until I got it,”
Freshman Mia Fahn agreed that the song is easy to master.
“It took me about two minutes to learn completely,” Fahn said. “Sometimes I perform it for my friends but nothing big.”
Not only was that particular scene in the movie a major hit, the movie as a whole received numerous awards for everything from Best Musical Moment to Favorite Comedy Movie at the MTV Movie Awards..
The cup song originated from Lulu and the Lampshades, and was added to the movie because Anna Kendrick (Beca) already knew it.
Kendrick mastered the song all on her own, and even performed it on David Letterman’s “Late Show.” The audience gave her a standing ovation.
The cup technique came first, and was put to the song “You’re Gonna Miss Me” after a few years, the Lampshades’ Luisa Gerstein said in an interview with Brenna Ehrlich of the O Music Awards blog.
“The chorus is taken from an old folk song and I made up the verses. The first time we performed it I was leaving to cycle to Berlin the following day; it was kind of meant as a song to persuade friends to come with me, hence ‘the long way round etc …’”
Since Pitch Perfect, the cup song has gradually become very popular among fans of the movie.
“I’ve known how to do the cup song since the movie came out,” freshman Meghan Shellooe said.
While the cup song is easy to master for Anna Kendrick, not everyone got it on their first try.
“Emily Gomes taught it to me and then Julia Davis taught me again because I forgot it,” Shellooe says.
Even if it takes a couple tries, people from all over are tapping red solo cups to the popular tune.
Lulu and the Lampshades, who loved the Pitch Perfect version, said “I just like the idea of people in kitchens all around the world trying to master the rhythm and then the singing at the same time. It’s fun, the response has been incredible.”