The Universal Appeal of a Red Solo Cup

Before you get on me about talking about the COUNTRY song “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith, let me explain. The image of a red Solo cup evokes many an emotion for ALL music lovers. It’s a universal symbol of good times, parties, fellowship, games, and bonding. Red Solo cups stimulate sensual memories of your first rum and coke with two half melted ice cubes, sucked down the moment you turned 21 (underage drinking is illegal in the US). The squishy feel of the cup as you hold onto it in one hand while throwing horseshoes with the other…

The Solo Cup Co. in Lake Forest celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, but the party is still proceeding, thanks to a thoroughly unexpected gift that keeps on giving: “Red Solo Cup.”

The novelty ditty devoted to the company’s iconic signature product currently is in the country music Top Ten. The video that started it all, which posted four months ago and went viral, has received nearly 12 million hits on YouTube, and the single that was never meant to be has been certified platinum.

Why has “Red Solo Cup” resonated with listeners? Perhaps because the song taps into something primal: that the Red Solo Cup, introduced in the 1970s, is America’s cup, considered, as the song says, to be the “best receptacle for barbecues, tailgates, fairs and festivals,” not to mention college drinking games such as beer pong.

Everyone uses the red Solo cup, so why not enjoy the song? Besides, who HASN’T overtipped the cup, sloshing the tasty beverage over their shirt and into their lap due to the wide mouthed vessel? I hope I stand defended. If not, feel free to file a complaint.


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