Radio station dumps ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” the Christmasy song about a guy who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, isn’t surviving the #MeToo movement.

It seemed like a nice little song at one time, until more men got educated about things like consent. Now, it’s just creepy.

So a Cleveland radio station has just pulled the song from its non-stop rotation of Christmas music.

The station conducted an online poll about the song and after 92 percent of those responding said it should go, it went.

“People might say, ‘Oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it’s not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of a situation,” said Desiray, a jock at WDOK. “The tune might be catchy, but let’s maybe not promote that sort of an idea.”

“It really pushed the line of consent,” Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President and CEO Sondra Miller told the local Fox affiliate. “The character in the song is saying ‘no,’ and they’re saying well, ‘does no really mean yes?’ and I think in 2018 what we know is consent is ‘yes’ and if you get a ‘no,’ it means ‘no’ and you should stop right there.”

Not surprisingly, a lot of the fellas are taking it personally on the station’s Facebook page.

“Don’t let this distract you from the fact that Star 102 is now playing politics and social justice warriors by banning a classic Christmas songs to make the snowflakes happy,” one commenter said.

(h/t: Paul Tosto)

  • Neil B.
  • MrE85

    “Don’t let this distract you from the fact that Star 102 is now playing politics and social justice warriors by banning a classic Christmas songs to make the snowflakes happy,” one commenter said.”

    I, for one, welcome the happy snowflakes.

    • RBHolb

      This “classic Christmas song” doesn’t even mention Christmas.

      • Most don’t

      • Jerry

        Considering the ethnicity of most of the people who wrote “classic Christmas songs”, I am not surprised.

        Also, isn’t it weird that almost all Christmas standards were written between 1930 and 1960?

  • Jeff C.

    For those who, like me, know the song but not the words…

    I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)
    I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)
    This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
    So very nice (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice)
    My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
    My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)
    So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
    Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)

    The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
    Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
    I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
    To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
    I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
    At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
    I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
    Baby it’s cold outside

    Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
    I like to think of it as opportunistic

    I simply must go (Baby it’s cold outside)
    The answer is no (But baby it’s cold outside)
    The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)
    So nice and warm (Look out the window at that storm)
    My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)
    My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)
    My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
    Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a blizzard before) (And I don’t even smoke)

    I’ve got to get home (Baby you’ll freeze out there)
    Say lend me a coat? (It’s up to your knees out there!)
    You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your hand)
    But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)
    There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)
    At least there will be plenty implied (If you caught pneumonia and died!)
    I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
    Baby it’s cold
    Baby it’s cold outside
    Okay fine, just another drink then
    That took a lot of convincing!

  • Erik Petersen

    I understand Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is also “problematic”.

    • Jerry

      Who does Rudolph try to date-rape?

      • Yukon Cornelius. What we see today is the edited version with the “bath scene cut out.

        😉

  • Jerry

    It really doesn’t help that because of the voices of the singers in most versions , it sounds like a high school girl is being propositioned by her gym teacher.

  • The Resistance

    I can’t hear “Say what’s in this drink?” without picturing Bill Cosby. There are plenty of other good Christmas songs that are less rapey.

    Adopted local JS Ondara’s Mother Christmas is a good replacement. Thanks to Bill DeVille at The Current for giving him exposure.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVlSnTGOIEI&list=RDaVlSnTGOIEI&start_radio=1&t=0

    • Jerry

      As long as people stop trying to make Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” a Christmas song. (It clearly belongs at Easter.)

  • QuietBlue

    I can’t believe any of the song’s defenders actually cared about the song at all until now.

    Next up, can they please ban “Wonderful Christmastime” for being generally offensive to the concept of music in general?

    • The Resistance

      I agree with you about Wonderful Christmastime. But the problem is not the song, it’s Paul McCartney’s singsongy rendition. Listen to the Tom McCrae version and you might have a new appreciation of it. It works better as a slow melancholy ballad.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCVi5Tn2SJc

      • QuietBlue

        Between the delivery and the odd key (B Major) for what is meant to be an upbeat and poppy song, I’m convinced McCartney was just goofing around when he wrote it.

  • Brian Simon

    Can we get rid of “paradise by the dashboard lights” while we’re at it?

    • Jerry

      I’m pretty sure that song is pro-abstinence

      • Brian Simon

        It has a creepy date-rape vibe for me. /shrug

        • Jerry

          I get more of a couple negotiating the terms of their relationship (and then immediately regretting it)

        • Frank

          In the end, it’s the man who has regret, and the woman who is celebrating. How often does date rape end that way?

      • Rob

        You mean, abstaining from listening to Meat Loaf?

  • Rob

    Any station that’s still playing The Police’s stalker tune “Every Breath You Take” also deserves a dope slap.

    • Jerry

      “Every Breath You Take” is supposed to be creepy.

      • Rob

        It succeeded.

        • QuietBlue

          The people who think that song is supposed to be romantic are probably the same people who think “Born in the U.S.A” is supposed to be patriotic.

          • Rob

            True that!

    • Brian Simon

      Rod Stewart’s “infatuation”

      Of course, that probably hasn’t been played in 30+ years.

  • Mike Worcester

    Well there are still folks who wonder if Louie, Louie was indecent, ty FBI for your investigation on that matter…. https://www.npr.org/2015/05/02/403623915/louie-louie-indecipherable-or-indecent-an-fbi-investigation

  • MrE85

    Ricardo was always talking about the cold outside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vwHLMs04XA

  • BJ

    I have been told it’s the opposite, that is it is a woman talking about how she can stay with a man in a time when women didn’t have that kind of social OK.

    Here’s something that kinda talks about it.

    http://bigbutterandeggman.tumblr.com/post/154013148291/teachingwithcoffee-its-time-to-bring-an-end-to

    Follow the link, read it, I don’t know. As you listen to the song with that take I can see that point of view.

    • I think the movie in which the song first appears provides the context.

      • frightwig

        In Neptune’s Daughter, I don’t know how the relationship or the scene is set up, but the woman really wants to leave, while the man keeps foiling her attempts to put on her hat and coat, until she finally seems to be charmed and they sit on the sofa together. And then there is a scene with two different characters and the roles reversed, played for laughs.

        The song wasn’t written for the movie, though. Frank Loesser wrote it as something to sing with his wife as parties.

      • X.A. Smith

        In 1944, Frank Loesser wrote “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for his wife, Lynn Garland, and himself to sing at a housewarming party in New York City at the Navarro Hotel. They sang the song to indicate to guests that it was time to leave. Loesser often introduced himself as the “evil of two Loessers” because of the role he played in the song.[1]

        Garland wrote that after the first performance, “We become instant parlor room stars. We got invited to all the best parties for years on the basis of ‘Baby.’ It was our ticket to caviar and truffles. Parties were built around our being the closing act.” In 1948, after years of performing the song, Loesser sold it to MGM for the 1949 romantic comedy Neptune’s Daughter. Garland was furious. She wrote, “I felt as betrayed as if I’d caught him in bed with another woman.”[1]

  • frightwig

    On the other hand, maybe people today just misunderstand the context of the lyrics.

    The writer known as Slay Belle, in her “Listening While Feminist” defense of the song a few years ago, notes that the song is a call-and-response or back-and-forth conversation, until the man and woman come together in harmony (literally and symbolically) at the end of each verse. We find the couple at the end of an evening, after they’ve likely been making out by the fire (she asks him to lend a comb to fix her hair), when she tells him, “I really can’t stay…,” but it’s not necessarily what she wants, it’s entirely about what her family and other people will think if she doesn’t come home.

    In fact, before he even mentions “it’s cold outside,” she’s already saying, “well, maybe just a half a drink more” (and later it’s “well, maybe a cigarette more”). The line, “say, what’s in this drink?” doesn’t really mean that she thinks he’s trying to drug her. She’s using a socially acceptable, lighthearted excuse for behavior that wouldn’t be proper for a “good girl” of the time. It’s a joke to give herself cover. And right after that, she even acknowledges what would be expected of her: “I ought to say, ‘No, no, no sir…’ At least I’m gonna say that I tried.” It’s not what she wants. It’s what she knows other people would want her to do.

    The second verse plays out along the same lines. She tries to excuse herself, but it’s all because “my sister will be suspicious… my brother will be there at the door… my maiden aunt’s mind is vicious.” The man protests that it’s cold outside, the snow is up to her knees, and there are no cabs to be had out there, which could be read as pressure–but he’s also offering socially acceptable excuses that she could use to explain why she couldn’t get home, to put her mind at ease so she might stay and just enjoy herself some more.

    In the end, she accepts the excuse to stay (by singing “baby, it’s cold outside” with him in harmony) and does what she really wanted to do all along.

    Link to Slay Belle’s piece here: http://persephonemagazine.com/2010/12/listening-while-feminist-in-defense-of-baby-its-cold-outside/

    • Jerry

      I think both men and women will be better served living in a world where “no” is no longer implied to mean “maybe”.

    • Jeffrey

      I always thought this song was about the girl not wanting to leave and making up excuses to stay. This song was written in 1944, I think it is silly to criticize it in 2018 for not being sufficiently “woke”.

      • It’s the musical equivalent of Huck Finn.

        • Rob K

          You are SO wrong.
          You know little if anything, about Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

          • Insightful. Thanks for stopping by and sharing that knowledge.

  • lindblomeagles

    Is Baby It’s Cold Outside really a Christmas Song or was it just popular because mega star Dean Martin sang it? The lyrics don’t really highlight winter all that much, let alone the holiday season.

  • Man, I wish women would comment here. I grow tired of men’s expertise on the subject of the reactions of women.

  • John

    It has become apparent to me that the people who refer to others as “snowflakes” (precious or otherwise) are nearly always the most offended people in the room.

    I’m glad to see my theory continues to hold with the quote from Bob’s post above.

  • Frank

    When ever I’ve listened to the song, it sounds like playful banter. I don’t hear any sort of domineering tone to the man, and the woman certainly does not sound under any sort of duress.

    This sort of play banter is what we have long called “flirting”. It can occur in both romantic and non-romantic relationships.

    I’m no knuckle dragger. But this looks like a bit of a Rorschach test. You can see what you want.

    Does anyone see a domineer patriarchy at work? What’s with her brother after all? Can’t she make her own decisions? Does she need a familial male to protect her sexual purity? From herself no less! And why can’t the nosy neighbors just be a little more live and let live?

    Yes, this song is very condescending to women. But I guess we’re all OK with that.