Controversial Christmas tune 'Baby It’s Cold Outside' has been given a rebrand this year by singer-songwriter John Legend and lyricist Natasha Rothwell, removing what was long perceived by some as a reference to date-rape. In changing the lyrics, the pair hope to reintegrate the song into the Christmas canon after it has lost some of its appeal in light of the #MeToo movement.
Originally written in 1944, the song has gone through numerous iterations over the years. After being penned by Frank Loesser, the song has subsequently been covered by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Tom Jones, and Lady Gaga.
However, as time has passed, the song’s subject, which ostensibly revolves around a man’s attempt to convince a woman to spend the night at his house, has been regarded with suspicion in some circles. In particular, the line “Say, what’s in this drink?” has been seen by some as an allusion to drink spiking and has sparked a subsequent reevaluation of the song.Watch As John Legend Sings Classic Gordon Ramsay Insults:
In order to try and update the lyrics, Legend and Rothwell have decided to change the most controversial line. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Legend revealed that the new lyrics include: “What will my friends think...” “I think they should rejoice.” “...if I have one more drink?” “It’s your body, and your choice.” It will be released on an updated version of Legend’s 2018 album “A Legendary Christmas”, set to be released later this year.
Not everyone agrees that the song’s original content is controversial. After several US radio stations took the song off the air in 2018, Dean Martin’s daughter voiced her disagreement, stating, “It’s a sweet, flirty, fun holiday song … I know my dad would be going insane right now.”
But whether Legend and Rothwell’s update prompts a return to the airwaves remains to be seen.