A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "Cups" is a single from the movie Pitch Perfect and is performed by actress Anna Kendrick. It's a cover of a song by British band Lulu and the Lampshades, who adapted it from a 1930s old-timey folk tune. In the movie version, Kendrick performs "Cups" acapella, using a yellow cup as percussion against the stage floor, but the radio single was remixed and extended with additional instrumentation. The percussive pop song is upbeat and fun, and the only iffy content is an opening lyric about leaving town with "two bottles of whiskey for the way." The music video features Kendrick toiling in a bakery, where she starts singing and daydreaming about leaving everything behind.
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What's the story?
"CUPS," a single from the movie Pitch Perfect, is an upbeat pop adaptation of what was originally a 1937 folk tune called "Miss Me When I'm Gone" by J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers. Over spare strings and clattery hand percussion -- courtesy of a cup and claps -- Anna Kendrick sings about going on a trip out of town while urging her love to come along and take in the beautiful sights with her.
Is it any good?
The catchy percussive beat, Kendrick's strong alto, and tasteful instrumentation make "Cups" instantly appealing. This cheerful folk-pop track has all the bucolic sweetness of the original old-timey version but with a contemporary pep and radio-ready shine. Kendrick's vocals drive the banjo and percussion in this poppy remake, making for an endearing sing-along song.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about covers of old-timey compositions. Can you think of other contemporary songs that were originally written back in the 1920s and 1930s?
Name some artists today and over the years who've been successful at both music and acting careers. Do you think Anna Kendrick will become a successful musician?
Families can talk about percussion and listen to the sounds of various household items playing off each other, like a wooden spoon against a cardboard box, a pot, or linoleum floor.
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