Friday, August 16, 2013

CLAP HANDS TWICE. HIT THE TABLE THREE TIMES. CLAP HANDS ONCE. PICK UP CUP AND SET IT DOWN... Vulture presents a comprehensive history (dating back to 1928) of the "Cups (When I'm Gone)" phenomenon.


  1. Joseph Finn10:00 AM

    Wow. I Have the complete Carter Family set and have heard "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone" many a time (hell, I'm listening to it off my phone right now) and never made the connection down the years.

  2. christy in nyc10:12 AM

    Very entertaining and interesting series of videos. Though I think they probably should have included the Erato Call Your Girlfriend, or left Call Your Girlfriend out of it entirely. Presumably Erato was influenced by one of the When I'm Gone videos, but I'd only ever seen the Call Your Girlfriend ones. Thus when Kendrick started doing cups in Pitch Perfect I was sure she was going to start singing Call Your Girlfriend.

    Also, seems it's always drinking cups for When I'm Gone and shallow rectangular tubs (apparently they hold yogurt in Sweden, not sure what kinds the Nashville kids are using but they look similar) for Call Your Girlfriend.

    Both songs are crazy earworms for me now. I wonder if the cups thing makes it so (by hypnotism???) or if they were just the right choices because they are naturally catchy.

    The cups game is a thing my childhood/teenhood choirmates and I used to do during down time at festivals and such, but I don't remember ever singing while doing it, oddly enough.

  3. Optimist (We Are Not For Them) by P.O.S. featured the cup game in the song and video, both from 2006. Not included in Vulture's "comprehensive" coverage, of course, which thinks the first melding of the game and a song came in 2009.

  4. Tara Kennedy12:36 PM

    The "Nashville" kids use a butter tub. A fake butter tub.

  5. The Pathetic Earthling12:48 PM

    I Can't Believe It's Not a Proper Percussion Instrument.(tm)

  6. I was just about to link that video (Oh heck I will anyway) -- I think it's less likely that Pitch Perfect's producers are chasing an ages-old tradition and more likely that they are responding to a viral sensation video from earlier that year. Unless I have my release windows wrong, but I don't think I do.