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cold

In this week’s chronicles of outrage and offence: “Radio stations around the U.S. and Canada have dropped the 1944 Christmas tune from their lineups over lyrics including, ‘I ought to say no, no, no, sir / Mind if I move in closer.’ As Vox’s Emily Crockett wrote, the song strikes many as, ‘a little rapey.'”

“Rapey” would require there be no or insufficient consent – not that anything sexual actually takes place in the song; it’s a 1940s classic after all. What the song actually is about is the game of seduction, which as old as the world itself. It’s a duet between a guy who is trying to get into a girl’s pants so to speak and is using all the cards in his deck (his charm and suasion, alcohol, weather) to convince the girl to stay longer and the girl herself who knows she shouldn’t (family, friends, neighbours will be at best worried and suspicious and at worst, well, you can well imagine, this being 1944) but she’s finding it difficult to resist the advances. It’s a battle between the head and the heart and other parts of the anatomy, again as old as humanity; no one is holding her against her will or doing anything to her except sweet talking. But hey, #MeToo or something.

Here are the full lyrics:

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped 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)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)
The neighbors 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) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s cold outside
Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go (Baby it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s cold outside)
The 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)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a blizzard before) (And I don’t even smoke)
I’ve got to get home (Baby you’ll freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat? (It’s up to your knees out there!)
You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your 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!)
I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
Baby it’s cold
Baby it’s cold outside
Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!
Maybe instead all the radio stations can play a 2013 Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams classic and international smash hit “Blurred Lines”:
Good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me
So pretty much like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” but without any of its charm or finesse. And instead of, say, Dean Martin and Marilyn Maxwell crooning to each other, there is the semi-naked Emily Ratajkowski gyrating to Thicke’s lines in a video that made her a social media star and opened the doors of Hollywood for her. Or for that matter any of the large number of rap songs featuring “bitchez” and “hos” and all manner of other fun things. “Bitch, It’s Ho Outside”, perhaps?*
* I made it up, but if any budding gangsta rappers want to try their talent…

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