Cool (West Side Story song)

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"Cool" is a song from the musical West Side Story. Leonard Bernstein composed the music and Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics. This song is known for its fugal treatment of a jazz figure, described by one writer as "possibly the most complex instrumental music heard on Broadway to date".[1]

For the 1961 film, "Cool" was swapped with the song "Gee, Officer Krupke."

Use in popular culture[edit]

In 2011, actor Harry Shum Jr. performed the song, as his character Mike Chang from TV series Glee, in the third episode of season 3, "Asian F" (aired on October 4).[2]

An episode of Animaniacs features a parody version as "Coo Bird" sung by Bobby of The Goodfeathers. The song is also parodied in the Flight of the Conchords episode The Tough Brets with the song "Stay Cool, Bret".

The Castle episode "Cool Boys" has Richard Castle and Detective Slaughter sing it to distract some criminals holding them at gunpoint.

British sketch show Horrible Histories parodied this song as a song about the English Civil War.


  1. ^ Nigel Simeone, Leonard Bernstein, West Side story (Ashgate Publishing, 2009), ISBN 978-0754664840, pp. 84, 102. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  2. ^ Stephens, Samantha (October 4, 2011). "'Glee': Mike Chang's 'Asian F' earns an A+". The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). Retrieved 23 February 2017.