John Legend's updated 'Baby It's Cold Outside' lyrics are super woke
In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, the classic Christmas song 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' became sinister for some.
Talks of it needing a modern rewrite began when Frank Loesser's 1944 classic was interpreted to encourage rape - despite it originally being written by Loesser as a playful call-and-response duet for him and his wife to sing during the holidays, Rolling Stone reports.
This is why the song is now regarded as problematic:
The song was used in the musical Neptune's Daughter in 1948 and given to the male and female parts of the "the Wolf" and "the Mouse." In the story, the pair go on a date, and after a nightcap, the Mouse decides to leave the Wolf's house, but he tries to convince her to say.
"I really can't stay," the Mouse sings. "But, baby, it's cold outside," the Wolf replies.
The mouse then gives a series of excuses so she can leave - "my mother will worry," "my father will be pacing the floor" - but regardless, the Wolf persists. "I'll hold your hands they're just like ice," he sings, and later followed by, "Listen to the fireplace roar."
By contrast, in the updated version of the song, when the woman decides to leave after a nightcap, the man tells her that it's cold outside and calls her a cab, asking her to text him when she gets home.
At one point in the new song, the female character sang by Kelly Clarkson questions, "What will my friends think? If I have one more drink?" and Legend's suitor replies: "It's your body and your choice."
She then offers up the excuse, "My father will be pacing the floor," to which Legend replies, "Wait, what do you still live at home for?"
However, despite this update, the new song has its naysayers, including Deana Martin, the daughter of Dean Martin, whose version of the original remains one of the most popular in existence.
In an interview on the British talk show this morning, she objected to Legend's rewrite:
"You do not change the lyrics to the song," she said in the interview, before claiming Legend's rewrite made the original more sexual.
"He made it more sexual with those words… and I think what he's done is, he's stealing the thunder from [composer] Frank Loesser's song and from my dad," she said.
"He should write his own song if he doesn't like this one, but don't change the lyrics. It's a classic, perfect song."
In an interview with a local Fox affiliate last Christmas, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President and CEO Sondra Miller said: "It really pushed the line of consent."
"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."