Smooth Jazz and More will continue the tradition of playing the classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in it’s daily Christmas playlist. It would be downright lunacy not to! We’ll tell you why, but first a brief history of the song.
It was written in 1944 by songwriter, Frank Loesser, who wrote it for his wife, Lynn Garland. The two would perform the song at parties, suggesting the evening was over. The song’s lyrics describes a man who tries to convince a woman that she should stay for the evening because the weather is cold and the trip home would be difficult. While the lyrics make no mention of any holiday, it’s popularly regarded it as a Christmas song due to its winter theme.
In 1949, the song was performed in the film, “Neptune’s Daughter” by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán. The tune won an Oscar for best original song. Since then, there have been over three dozen versions of the song, including versions we play in our Christmas playlist by Ray Charles and Betty Carter; Lou Rawls and Dianne Reeves; and Vanessa Williams and Bobby Caldwell.
In recent years, the song has had controversy because of it’s suggestive lyrics, preferably, the line, “What in this drink?”. Many critics have suggested the song is no longer appropriate due, in part, to the case of comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted in June 2018 of sexual assault and is currently serving a 10 year sentence for the crime. Other cases, such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey also had an influence. This week, Cleveland radio station WDOK announced that it had pulled the song, citing listener concerns over the song’s content in the wake of the Me Too movement. In addition, Canadian radio broadcasters Bell Media, CBC Radio, and Rogers Media also followed suit.
Our position on this matter is clear. We believe in free speech and we don’t believe in censorship, which this is. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a classic, worthy of airplay. The song isn’t about rape, nor should it be known as a “date rape anthem”. In the film, Neptune’s Daughter, the song is actually performed twice. Once, with Montalbán as the aggressor and Williams as his target, and then again with Betty Garrett pressuring Red Skelton. Skelton gets so flustered as he tries to leave that he puts on Garrett’s coat and picks up her purse.
If we ban “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, then we need to also consider songs like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, which would suggest a burglar sexually assaulting a woman in the house. Or, any Christmas song that mentions “Jesus” (Not that it’s the reason for the season.).
Critics of the song need to take a step back and “chill”. This new controversy is political correctness gone “stir crazy” as a result of overreaching and looking for reasons to suit their own agendas.
Just stop it!