For the first Christmas ever, Dean Martin’s 1959 definitive version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” will be missing from certain airwaves, as some stations ban it for “predatory undertones” that they said are at odds with the #Metoo age.
But to Deana Martin, daughter of the legendary singer, it’s just a “cute, flirtatious, and romantic song”—and she’s going to keep singing it.
After an Ohio station banned the song, much to the disagreement of the majority of its listeners, discussions about the song have taken off not just in America, but around the world, as some other stations said they will ban it.
The song is a duet featuring a woman saying she will leave a man’s house as he implores her to stay (although in some performances the roles are switched).
The most popular version of the song, written in 1944, is Dean Martin’s version, from his 1959 album “A Winter Romance.”
His daughter, Deana Martin, told Fox News, “I personally love performing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and will continue to do so. Merry Christmas!”
“’Baby It’s Cold Outside’ is a cute, flirtatious, and romantic song written by Frank Loesser in 1944,” she said.
“It won the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’ in the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter,’” said the 70-year-old singer.
“It’s been recorded by dozens of the world’s top recording artists for over 60 years, including my dad Dean Martin.”
‘The World We Live in Is Extra Sensitive’
“I’m very proud that it has become an evergreen favorite that is played every holiday season.”
“When the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” wrote Glenn Anderson, one of the station’s hosts, in a post on the WDOK website. “The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
But listeners disagreed.
Although the station first claimed that the decision was prompted by a listener poll, a later poll suggested over 90 percent disagreed with the decision.
A woman in the comments section for WDOK 102 Cleveland wrote: “If you guys start giving into this BS, I’m done. Tired of a bunch of snowflakes that get offended about EVERYTHING ruining EVERYTHING for everyone else. If you don’t like it … Turn. The. Channel. Obviously, these sensitive people keep on listening to pick the playlist apart.”
Another wrote: “I’m pretty damn liberal and definitely a feminist … this is really reaching. People get offended over the weirdest things sometimes … shall we start picking apart the lyrics of every rock song that is played during the regular season? Lots of vulgarity toward women in that genre.”
At least two of Canada’s biggest radio operators have also said they will pull the song out of their rotations this year.
Written to Be Performed With His Wife
The song was originally written by Loesser as a duet to be performed with his wife, according to his daughter Susan Loesser.
In her biography, ‘A Most Remarkable Fella’ she describes the first time they performed it to friends: “Well the room just fell apart [my mother remembered]. I don’t think either of us realized the impact of what we’d sung. We had to do it over and over again and we became instant parlor room starts. We got invited to all the best parties for years on the basis of ‘Baby.'”
Four years later, he sold the rights to MGM.
The woman sings, “I really can’t stay” and he responds with “but baby, it’s cold outside.”
“Say, what’s in this drink?” she sings and “I simply must go … the answer is no.”
Susan Loesser, 74, told NBC News: “Way before #MeToo, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”
Loesser said her father would have been “furious” at the radio stations’ decision.
“I think it would be good if people looked at the song in the context of the time,” she said. “People used to say ‘What’s in this drink’ as a joke. You know, ‘This drink is going straight to my head, so what’s in this drink?’ Back then it didn’t mean ‘You drugged me.'”
Here are the full lyrics to the song:
I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)
This evening has been (been hoping that you’d drop 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)
But maybe just a half a drink more (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)
I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (oh baby don’t hold out)
But baby, it’s cold outside
I simply must go (but baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (but baby, it’s cold outside)
Your welcome has been(how lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (look out the window at this dawn)
My sister will be suspicious (gosh your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door (waves upon the tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (gosh your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more (never such a blizzard before)
I’ve gotta get home(but baby, you’d freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat(it’s up to your knees out there)
You’ve really been grand (i thrill when you touch my hand)
But don’t you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pneumonia and died)
I really can’t stay (get over that old out)
Baby, it’s cold
Baby, it’s cold outside
Jack Phillips also contributed to this article.