VP calls for a fresh look at a great old song.
It’s been nearly two decades since “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” earned the ire of our finger-wagging, no-fun, culture scolds.
This week I saw the first sign that might finally be happening.
The heat was probably never more intense than it was four years ago when GenZ got into the act and demanded that radio stations stop playing it. The Wall Street Journal had the details in a piece headlined, “‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Heats Up Culture Wars.”
The actual history of the tune is that Frank Loesser wrote it for himself and his wife to perform as a duet. And not just sung, but to be performed, perfectly staged, live at parties. The Journal spoke with their daughter, Susan, who said that “the reference to what is in the woman’s drink was common at the time, signifying only that having an alcoholic beverage was cool.” When I was a young boy in the ’70s, I can remember on many occasions my grandmother asking the very same thing when my grandfather had poured her a stiff one, and him replying, “Nothing I didn’t make for you last night,” or words to that effect. The same generation as the Loessers, middle age didn’t make them any less playful with one another.
Dean Martin recorded the song in 1959, and his daughter Deana told Fox News on Tuesday that she’s “flabbergasted” by the controversy. “It’s just insane. When I heard it, I said, ‘This can’t possibly be.’ You know, it’s a sweet, flirty, fun holiday song that’s been around for 40 years.”
No real conundrum or cause for bafflement here, I’d say. Sweet, flirty, fun—can it really come as any big surprise to saner sorts that pinched-faced, juiceless, joyless liberal bluenoses have so worked hard to do away with it?
Susan Loesser backs up that interpretation, telling the Journal, “The female singer’s repeated insistence that she needed to go was halfhearted, as she too wanted to stay.” Which is exactly how every female performer in every version of this song has sung it. She isn’t threatened or out-of-control drunk; she showed up at his place knowing exactly what she wanted. Or as Loesser explained: “She’s flirting like crazy. She’s wanting to stay, but she’s worried about what people will think.”
In other words: a nice girl with a naughty side. Just what I wanted for Christmas!
Better watch your step there, Stephen; they’ll be coming for you next, if you keep it up.