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Image / Editorial

Your favourite Christmas song is actually about date rape, sorry


by Laura George
06th Dec 2017
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Christmas FM announced this week that it has cut ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ from all playlists this year. In the spirit of the new cultural/sexual revolution can we all please agree it’s time we all agree to retire Baby It’s Cold Outside from our seasonal playlists. Apologies to Nicole, Ewan and the man who first popularised it, Dean Martin, but it’s gotta go. Martin was one of the standard bearers of the legendary Rat Pack (affectionately so-named because they got up to all manner of bad-boy shenanigans which probably would not stand up to current standards of scrutiny for a nanosecond).

Have a look at the lyrics, then judge for yourself. Are they a peek into the inner psyche of a date rapist on the prowl? Or just quaint old-fashioned banter from a time when ‘no’ did not mean no?

I really can’t stay (But Baby, it’s cold outside)

I’ve got to go away (But Baby, it’s cold outside)

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)

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)

The neighbours might think (Baby, it’s bad out there)

Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)

I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)

To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

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 hurtin’ my pride?)

I really can’t stay (Oh Baby don’t hold out)

But Baby, it’s cold outside

I simply must go (But Baby, it’s cold outside)

The answer is no (But Baby, it’s cold outside)

Your welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)

So nice and warm (Look out the window at this dawn)

My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious)

My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon the tropical shore)

My maiden aunts mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious)

But maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a blizzard before)

I’ve gotta get home (But baby, you’d freeze out there)

Say lend me a coat (It’s up to your knees out there)

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 lifelong sorrow)

At least there will be plenty implied (If you got pneumonia and died)

I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)

Baby, it’s cold

Baby, it’s cold outside

The lady in question literally spends the entire song politely declining advances while a creepy older man lasciviates over her – is there any grey area about “I simply must go, the answer is no” ? She’s worried about what her parents will think and he’s plying her with drink (or maybe something more given the Rat Pack’s legendary proclivities) and denying her the loan of a coat. All in all, this is not exactly what you want your darling daughter crooning at her school Christmas concert.

Anyway, we don’t sing about Gollywogs anymore no matter how catchy those tunes were.