Baby It’s Cold Outside

If you’ve ever turned on any Christmas playlist, then you’re probably familiar with the Academy Award-winning, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” originally written by Frank Loessor. For years, many people enjoyed this hit song. Although people still play it, the song has recently been cast into the public eye for controversies surrounding the song’s true intention. If one inspects the original lyrics of this song, one would find that certain lyrics sung by the male, otherwise referred to as “The Wolf” on Loesser’s score sheet, sound quite lecherous. For instance, some lines that raise suspicions are “Mind if I move a little closer?” “What’s the sense in hurting my pride?” and “Baby, don’t hold out.” While the “wolf’s” lines certainly have sinister implications, along with those, the woman, or “mouse’s” lines in the original score,  have also unnerved contemporary listeners. These lines include “I ought to say no, no, no, sir,” and “Say, what’s in this drink?”

Due to revised social expectations, “Baby it’s Cold Outside” has been banned on several stations. Many popular online newspapers have also written articles about the song, raising awareness about possible intentions. There is even a cover of “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” by John Legend and Kelly Clarkson who rewrote the lyrics with the objective of making the song less intimidating, which Legend and Clarkson released with the intent of supporting the #MeToo movement, which lent further credibility to the idea that the song promoted rape culture.

However, whether the song is meant to have an ulterior motive is still in question..  Despite the disturbing nature of the song’s predatory lyrics, some still have faith that the song has a pure message. Many people who believe in the innocence of the author’s motives feel that it’s unfair to criticize a song which was written 75 years ago.

In an Inside Edition interview with the daughter of Loessor, Susan Lester, spoke out about the way in which  her father truly meant the song to be perceived: “This song is not about abuse of power, it’s about flirtation and that’s how flirtation was in those days.”

Without Loessor’s own opinion, it is difficult to justify the intent behind writing such suggestive lyrics. However, as Loessor passed away in 1969, there will never be a way to find out how he truly wanted his lyrics to be received.

Copyright Kayleah Strunk 2019

Kayleah Strunk

Kayleah Strunk is a freshman day student residing in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. She enjoys things such as painting and photography. Look for her articles throughout the next few months.