My sister Marianne and I broke out into a full debate over the 1944 song “Baby it’s cold outside” yesterday while Christmas shopping, and things got intense enough that my mom put an end to it.
Okay, it wasn’t that bad. But our debate over this old holiday song is going on all across the country.
I have always felt that song is creepy and sends a mixed message to boys that as long as a woman doesn’t scream “no!” you can keep touching and pursing her.
To me, the songs lyrics are clearly predatory towards women.
My sister counters that it’s a flirty and happy song that happens between men and women all the time.
She says it takes a “sick mind” to read too much more into it.
CBS host Gayle King agrees with my sister!
In fact, this morning she swore live on air while defending the song, which has been pulled by several radio stations.
Here’s her take:
King said: “I just feel I want to say to people: ‘It’s a Christmas song that was written years ago. I think you have to look at the intent of the song, and when you look at the intent, it’s – to me – a very flirtatious back-and-forth between the two of them. I think you can look at anything and read something into it these days, and I just don’t think that was the case when they wrote that song and (it’s not) the intent of the song, and I think we have to look at that.”
King’s co-hosts John Dickerson and Norah O’Donnell disagreed with her, saying they interpreted the meaning of the song and the lyrics as menacing.
I think they’re right.
The tune made headlines this month when Cleveland radio station WDOK announced it would cease playing the song after some listeners complained its lyrics hadn’t aged well amid the #MeToo movement.
Now radio stations all around the United States are beginning to follow suit, with mixed reactions from listeners.
Urban Dictionary dubbed it the “Christmas Date Rape Song” in 2006 and every year since.
Deana Martin, Dean’s Martin’s daughter, responded:
“’Baby It’s Cold Outside’ is a cute, flirtatious and romantic song written by Frank Loesser in 1944. It won the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’ in the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter.’ It’s been recorded by dozens of the world’s top recording artists for over 60 years, including my dad Dean Martin. I personally love performing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and will continue to do so.”
My response is that times have changed, and language has evolved, and this song makes people uncomfortable.
The song, recorded for the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter, won an Oscar for the Best Original Song in 1950.
Here it is:
Does that scene make you cringe or not?
Time to vote! What do you think?