Can We Retire "Baby It's Cold Outside" And Its Date Rape Lyrics For Good?

Every Halloween, radio hosts wait breathlessly for the last trick-or-treater to abandon her candy foraging. The moment she retires her pirate sword, they launch their mission. 

Oh yeah, baby. It's time for Christmas music. 

No ear is immune to the catchy, seasonal tunes that permeate radio waves and infiltrate restaurants, malls, grocery stores and singing e-cards. Like an army of oppressive Care Bears, the joyousness will force you to smile and sing along with Christmas cheer—even if you're a Scrooge. Amidst the joy and drunken Christmas karaoke sessions (that's normal, right?), there's one jam I can't get behind: "Baby It's Cold Outside." 

Merely typing those four, slimy words forced me to take seven showers (sorry, California drought). If you actually listen to the lyrics, the entire song is about a person (either a man or blonde Zooey Deschanel, not sure which is worse) convincing an unwilling partner to linger for booty. Really. This song sounds like the intro to a Lifetime movie about a horrific incident of date rape. And we are tortured, yearly, with its creepiness.

Admittedly, its origins are innocent-ish: It was written in the early 1940s by award-winning Broadway musician, Frank Loesser, to entertain guests at his (we have to presume due to the lyrics) scary parties of doom. The jam was then picked up for the 1949 romantic comedy Neptune's Daughter, later winning an Oscar. Within the context of this older era—that had different perceptions of sexuality—and given its relevance to the scene in the film it was featured in, the song is somewhat OK. And some have argued that it deserves to be defended.

But really, it's just a wretched song about date rape and oppressive cold.

Let's look at the lyrics, shall we?

I really can't stay
(But baby, it's cold outside)
I've got to go away
(But baby, it's cold outside)


You know what "I really can't stay" is code for in my world? "I want to leave because I am no longer enjoying myself." Also, you know what's colder than the outside? Getting naked. (I, for one, am not above having sex in a coat. BTW: Sorry about that. You know who you are.)

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)


Ah, the parental excuse. Further proof that the lady wants to escape. Her hands are like ice? That's why mittens were invented. Plus, aren't you still inside? Why are her hands cold? Doesn't this completely derail the whole don't-go-outside-for-fear-of-getting-cold argument? 

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)


Half a drink more is the ultimate sign of giving into peer pressure. 

The neighbors might think
(Baby, it's bad out there)
Say, what's in this drink?
(No cabs to be had out there)


WHAT'S IN THIS DRINK? WHAT'S IN THIS DRINK? Do I even need to continue?!? 

I wish I knew how
(Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell
(I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)


What?! Does everyone suffer amnesia from the previous stanza? She just asked what was in her drink, and now she's under a spell. 

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 hurting my pride?)


"Hurting my pride?" Is this manipulative, or just pathetic at this point? I don't even know anymore. I'm pretty sure this is Buffalo Bill's song, though.

This welcome has been
(How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm
(Look out the window at that storm)

My sister will be suspicious
(Gosh, your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door
(Waves upon a tropical shore)


Let's get one thing clear: If this is a tropical storm, it's going to be warm outside. Not cold. The lies are just pilling up. We're onto you, creeper/blonde Zooey!

My maiden aunt's mind is vicious
(Ooh, your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more
(Never such a blizzard before)


Maybe your virginal aunt's mind is "vicious" because you are dining with a date rapist. Hell, my mind is vicious right now! 

I've got to get home
(But baby, you'll freeze out there)
Say, lend me your comb
(It's up to your knees out there)


Comb: the classic weapon. Stab away! 

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 life long sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied
(If you caught pneumonia and died)

"Stay and have sex with me. I've already drugged you. If you don't stay, I'll be sad and you'll DIE." Must I be more clear?  

I really can't stay
(Get over that old doubt)
Oh, but it's cold outside


In conclusion, this is a terrible song. Not only did I waste an epic amount of water bathing in the process of writing this, but I feel literal anxiety about my impending nightmares. "Baby It's Cold Outside" has egregious undertones (heck, even overtones!). For the sake of amazing sex that's actually wanted and not at all coerced, let's retire this beat forever.

Or else, I'll be sad and you'll die.

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