Cj Bernstein Biography & Facts
"Cool" is a song from the 1957 musical West Side Story. Leonard Bernstein composed the music and Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics. This was the first song they wrote together, and Sondheim later recollects that Bernstein must have written the opening line (Boy, boy, crazy boy) since he himself was not prone to writing melismatically. 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".
Summary in the 1961 film
Since the death of Riff, Ice takes on as the leader of the Jets and he reasons with his team to play it cool.
Use in popular culture
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).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.
In Season three, episode ten of “The West Wing” (H-CON 172), White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg uses the opening bars and lyrics of “Cool” to stop Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn during a tirade about an ex employee.
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