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The controversy behind the song 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'
by TeenHelp December 2nd 2019, 04:55 AM

The controversy behind the song 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'
By Cassie (cynefin)

Baby, It's Cold Outside is a song that is commonly heard around the holidays. As the holiday season is already underway, people have gathered their thoughts again and have started to talk about the true meaning behind the song. Some believe that the song is fine as it is, where others feel as though it is an assault song; some radio stations don't even play it.

Baby, It's Cold Outside was written by a man named Frank Loesser in 1944. He originally wrote it so he and his wife could sing it at their house party. The song was later recorded in 1948 so it could be used in the musical Neptune's Daughter [source].

Throughout the song, there is a back and forth: the woman in the song is giving reasons to leave, but the man wants the woman to stay. She says that her mother will worry, but is later urged to stay for "half a drink more."

The lyrics from the song appear to be a harmless flirting to some, but they do go on to illustrate some pressure for the woman to stay when she wants to leave. The breaking point seems to be when the woman asks what is in her drink. This in combination with other lyrics such as "beautiful, what's your hurry?" and "no cabs to be had out there" can have a negative connotation for some, especially in today's environment. It can normalize sexual coercion for those who feel this way.

Others argue that historical context is very important in this song. It was written in the 40s, when the roles of people were very different. The woman may have wanted to leave, but it could also be observed as wanting to stay but declining because of the time period. Perhaps the man thought she wanted to stay, and thus tried to convince her. It is thought that this song actually has hints of feminism in it - it can be an acknowledgement of a woman's sexuality during a repressing time [source].

The meaning of the question "what's in this drink?" is discussed in historical context as well. It was a stock joke commonly used in the 30s and 40s. The answer to this question is something along the lines of "nothing, not much alcohol."

Moreover, historical context could be considered a bit more: Frank Loesser wrote this to sing with his wife at house parties. Perhaps it was a positive song in a healthy environment during that time.

While there are people on both sides of this, there is a group who believes that both ideas are true: they see the romantic part, and the potential assault aspects. They choose to see the good and the bad.

In response to the debate, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson released a modern version of the song in early November 2019. This version is free of any assault implications. There have been a lot of thoughts on this song, many being frustration and disapproval. While this is upsetting for some, listeners are free to listen to whatever they choose to.

What are your thoughts on the song? Do you think it is negative, or is it better to not ask questions and leave it alone? How about this new version? Is it a different take on the original, or did it go too far?
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Name: Olivia
Age: 17
Gender: Female
Location: Buena Park Cali

Posts: 11
Join Date: November 11th 2019

Re: The controversy behind the song 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' - December 3rd 2019, 01:41 AM

I heard somebody say a while ago that should we destroy all the classic cowboy movies simply because we kill the Indians and make them the enemy?

As for the song I simply can't say as I know others would say something entirely different. But I will say that destroying something from the past will only make us destroy everything else that we don't approve of.
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