"Cups" (CD Single) Music Poster Image

"Cups" (CD Single)



Stripped-down Pitch Perfect song is catchy and fun.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This upbeat track has a sweet message about love and yearning for someone and also loosely celebrates the beauty of nature.

Positive role models

There aren't really any positive role models here, especially because she sings about taking two bottles of whiskey with her on the way out of town.

Not applicable
Not applicable
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This song was included in the soundtrack to Pitch Perfect.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The song opens with a lyric about leaving town and having two bottles of whiskey for the way.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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.

Music details

Artist:Anna Kendrick
Release date:March 26, 2013
Label:Republic Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 October 31, 2013

Poppy, catchy tune from musical

I love this song--it's just is catchy! The cup rhythm is really cool--I even learned how to do it myself--and Anna's vocals are great. There is one reference to whiskey, but otherwise this song is fine for kids.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old August 16, 2013

Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone") - Anna Kendrick

Positive messages: mentions yearning for somebody & the beauty of nature Drinking, drugs & smoking: mentions two bottles of whiskey
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 9 years old June 5, 2013

A Really Good Catchy Song

It is a really good song the beginning starts "I got my ticket for the long way round TWO BOTTLES OF WHISKEY FOR THE WAY" <-- this is pretty much the only bad part of this song sometimes when kids do it ( the cup game) , it can get pretty annoying! But other than that the song is really catchy and fun!
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking