Recently there has been a lot of indignation and rage over Frank Loesser’s 1940s classic called “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. The song has been ignominiously turfed from the playlists of several large radio stations, including our own CBC.
An update on this is that CBC recently reinstated the song after receiving an overwhelming number of complaints from outraged listeners! Yay! Democracy still lives!!!)
I just read a highly entertaining article by CHRIS WILLMAN at this link https://variety.com/2018/music/news/baby-its-cold-outside-song-war-1203080834/ in which it is explained where the indignation and rage come from: A bunch over zealous, politically-correct radio execs trying to curry favour with the MeToo crowd..
It seems that they think that the lyrics imply rape, well let’s call it date rape. Apparently they don’t see that song really reveals two horny adults who really both want to get it on, but in the ethic of the 1940’s, the girl has to appear somewhat reluctant.
Irritated about hearing that some self-righteous radio stations were banning the song, I decided to go over the lyrics and review them so see if I could find out what the big deal is, but no, I still can’t see what these snowflakes are whining about:
Here are the song lyrics, with inserts and comments and observations from me:
She says coyly: “I really can’t stay”
He responds “Baby it’s cold outside”
She says “I gotta go away”
He counters with “Baby it’s cold outside”
She says: “This evening has been …”
He interrupts: “Been hoping that you’d dropped in”
Okay, let’s stop right there. SHE dropped in on him at his place …that’s pretty forward for a nice girl of the 1940’s.
She continues her sentence “So very nice “
He says : “I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice”
She says: “My mother will start to worry”
He says “Beautiful what’s your hurry?”
She continues : “My father will be pacing the floor”
He cajoles: “ Listen to the fireplace roar”
She continues “So really I’d better scurry”
He responds “Beautiful please don’t hurry”
And then, she says - wait for it…
“Well maybe just a half a drink more “
So let’s be clear here. SHE asks him for another drink. He does not try to ply her with more booze.
he says “I’ll put some records on while I pour”
(Talk about multi-tasking …)
She says: “The neighbors might think”
He says “Baby it’s bad out there”
Then she says: “Say what’s in this drink?”
(this is the drink that SHE asked for, and bear in mind that during this era, “What’s in this drink” was a favorite thing to say, and did not refer to the possibility of something bad being added to said drink)
Is this the line that has the dopes at the radio stations all excited? “What’s in this drink?” are they implying that the date rape drug was dropped into the drink to make her forget all her objections?
He says ” No cabs to be had out there”,
which really makes one wonder why she dared to stop at his place knowing what a crappy night it was, and that she probably wouldn’t get a cab.
She simpers: “I wish I knew how…”
he interrupts “Your eyes are like starlight now”
She finishes her sentence “To break this spell”
Then he says surprisingly: “ I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell”
She bubbles: “I ought to say no, no, no sir”
He says opportunistically “Mind if I move in closer?”
She says: “At least I’m gonna say that I tried “
He says :”What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?”
She says: I really can’t stay” He says: “Baby don’t hold out”
Aha, now he starts to sound quite horny …but at no point is he restraining her or forcng her
Then, surprisingly, SHE says “Baby it’s cold outside …Ah, you’re very pushy you know?”
He says: “I like to think of it as opportunistic”
she says “I simply must go”
he continues to insist : “Baby it’s cold outside”
She says, not making any move to leave “The answer is no”
He continues to use his previous argument “But baby it’s cold outside”
She says: “The welcome has been…” He interrupts “How lucky that you dropped in”
Again harping on the fact that she willingly dropped in on him, not the other way around.
She finishes her sentence :”So nice and warm”
He cautions her “ Look out the window at that storm”
She says: “My sister will be suspicious”
He counters with “Gosh your lips look delicious!”
She warns “My brother will be there at the door” He carries on about her lips “Waves upon a tropical shore”
She says :”My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious”
he says ”Gosh your lips are delicious!”
She says”Well maybe just a cigarette more”
Once again, HER idea, not his. She is the one using delay tactics, showing that she really is not interested in leaving.
he says “Never such a blizzard before”
and she finishes with “And I don’t even smoke”
She says”I’ve got to get home”
Predictably, he says “Baby you’ll freeze out there”
she says “Say lend me a coat?”
If it’s such a bad night, how come she doesn’t have a coat of her own? She was wandering around outside without a coat???
He says ”It’s up to your knees out there!”
She says “You’ve really been grand,
” He says “I feel when I touch your hand”
She says”But don’t you see? “
He whines “How can you do this thing to me?”
She says “There’s bound to be talk tomorrow”
He says “Think of my life long sorrow!”
She says “At least there will be plenty implied”
he continues …”If you caught pneumonia and died!”
She says “I really can’t stay”
He says “Get over that old out”
He is well aware she wants to get it on as much as he does, and is calling her bluff
they both say “Baby it’s cold
Baby it’s cold outside”
So, my conclusion is that this song is not about a man abusing or coercing a woman, but about a couple of people who are mutually attracted, would like to get it on, but are hampered by the morality mores of the time, where the woman at least, has to put up some kind of resistance to retain her sense of being a “good girl”.
Now if the PC crowd REALLY want to do something useful, ban rappers like M&M who are very explicit about how they feel about women.
Here are the lyrics at AZLyrics.com