Cups (song)

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"Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone")"
Single by Anna Kendrick
from the album Pitch Perfect (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Released March 2013
Recorded 2012
Genre Folk-pop, a cappella
  • 1:17 (album version)[1]
  • 2:07 (single version)
  • 3:07 (video version)
Label Republic, UMe
Writer(s) A.P. Carter, Luisa Gerstein
Producer(s) Ali Dee Theodore, Harvey Mason, Jr., Jordan Yaeger

"Cups" (also known as "Cups (Pitch Perfect's When I'm Gone)", "Cups (When I'm Gone)", or "When I'm Gone (Cups) or (The Cup Song)") is a song popularized by American actress Anna Kendrick from the film Pitch Perfect. The song became Kendrick's first top-ten song on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #6 on the chart.


The original song "When I'm Gone" was written by A.P. Carter, then recorded in 1931 by the Carter Family (not to be confused with their 1928 song "Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?")[2] and was originally a bluegrass tune. Over the years it has been recorded by many people including Mainer's Mountineers and Charlie Monroe. It can also be heard in the film Dan in Real Life. It was revived in 2009 by the band Landshapes (then known as Lulu and the Lampshades; they changed their name in May 2012), with new verses written by Luisa Gerstein, using the cup game as a percussion beat.[3] The video went viral after a Reddit posting, prompting dozens of other budding musicians to record cover versions of the song using the Cup Clap technique. It was soon dubbed ‘The Cup Song.” [4]


Unlike the soundtrack version, the single version of the song was re-produced with additional instrumentation (notably the banjo) by American Music Award-winning music producer Ali Dee Theodore, Jordan Yaeger and Harvey Mason, Jr. The single version was extended by an additional minute.[1]

Prior to the single's release, covers of the song as well as tutorials on how to do the song (using cups) went viral.

Chart performance[edit]

Prior to the song's release as a single in March 2013, the song debuted at number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending January 12, 2013. Afterward, the single was released and the song began a slow but steady ascent up the chart. In its 32nd week on the chart, the song reached number 6, its peak position to date. By October 2013, all versions of the song had sold 2.5 million downloads in the US.[5]

On May 4, 2013, “Cups” returned to the Top 50 of the Australian music sales charts at a new peak of number 44, achieved in part due to the DVD of Pitch Perfect being released in Australia on April 13, 2013. It originally made it to number 48 in January 2013.

Music video[edit]

The song's music video was shot the fourth week of March 2013, and it was directed by Pitch Perfect's director Jason Moore.[6] It was released on April 13, 2013 on Anna Kendrick's Vevo channel, as of August 22, 2014 it had 149,067,597 views.[7]

It opens with Anna Kendrick in a restaurant's kitchen cutting dough into biscuits with a tall cup, while looking up longingly at some postcards of exotic places stuck to the refrigerator. She puts the biscuit tray in the oven, sets a timer, and dusts her hands off with an oscillating fan, before pausing a moment, and then starts the song using the cup on the table. In a long continuous shot, she washes her hands, takes a plate of food from the chef, makes her way out into the dining area, where all the customers are drumming the cups in various ways. The camera then follows her singing and collecting dirty dishes, etc. before it pans around and back out wide, showing the entire diner doing the routine, during the bridge section. It then cuts back to her walking back to the kitchen, passing the chef now drumming with a cup instead of wooden utensils, and follows back to her at the table. As the song ends the timer rings, and she looks back up, out towards the dining area where everyone is now normal (realizing it was all her imagination). Taking one last look at the chef, she smiles and she is gone through the back door.

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jeff Benjamin (March 15, 2013). "Anna Kendrick's "Cups": Is the 'Pitch Perfect' Song a Radio Hit?". 
  2. ^ "Cups, You're Gonna Miss Me: Evolution of a Song". 
  3. ^ "You're Gonna Miss Me, Lulu and the Lampshades". 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Anna Kendrick Tops AC Chart With 'Cups'". Billboard. October 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Weekly Chart Notes: Anna Kendrick Finally 'Pitch Perfect' For Radio". Billboard. March 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone") (Director's Cut)". Vevo. April 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ " – Anna Kendrick – Cups". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Anna Kendrick – Cups –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ " – Anna Kendrick – Cups" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ " – Anna Kendrick – Cups" (in French). Ultratip.
  12. ^ "Anna Kendrick Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Anna Kendrick. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  13. ^ " – Anna Kendrick – Cups" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Anna Kendrick search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  16. ^ " – Anna Kendrick – Cups" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  17. ^ " – Anna Kendrick – Cups". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  18. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Anna Kendrick Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Anna Kendrick. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  20. ^ "Anna Kendrick Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Anna Kendrick. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  21. ^ "Anna Kendrick Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Anna Kendrick. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  22. ^ "Anna Kendrick Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Anna Kendrick. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  23. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  24. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Anna Kendrick – Cups". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  25. ^ Singles at NZ Top 40
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Anna Kendrick – Cups". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  27. ^ "Best of 2013: Canadian Hot 100". publisher=Prometheus Gobal Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Best of 2013 – Hot 100 Songs". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
by Usher
CONCACAF Gold Cup theme song
Succeeded by