Baby, it’s crazy outside

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music

Now that we can all mark ourselves safe from the great Christmas carol offense of 2018, it’s time to dissect what the heck just happened.

If you haven’t been living at the actual North Pole, you may be aware that we are living in dangerous times.

One of the core Christmas classics played on the radio during the holiday season (so roughly September through the New Year), Baby, it’s Cold Outside, came under fire (and not the chestnut roasting kind) for being “inappropriate.”

That’s right. A song written in 1944 (oh, those risque 1940s) is clearly the problem with society today.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside, written by Frank Loesser, is a classic duet, usually sung by a male and female who are discussing whether she should stay — or go.

Also, it is cold outside. It is really that simple.

However, to some with a loose grasp of history and an overactive imagination, the flirtatious lyrics conjure date-rape warning bells.

Protests claim that certain lyrics — particularly “I really can’t stay” and “Hey, what’s in this drink?” while the male singer explains away her excuses — might indicate that the male party is pushing past her protestations to force her into an unwanted situation.

Cleveland’s WDOK banned the song recently with host Glenn Anderson writing “I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong… The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended.”

Not to be outdone in making rash and silly decisions like it’s their JOB, a handful of stations across the country followed suit. Sigh.

Stop the madness. Can we just take a moment to slow down the crazy train?

The entire song is more about the social stigma and morality of the era than it is about anyone being forced into anything more than singing.

So no, not an inappropriate song at all.

History is important. Complainants should be required to learn it before leaping to conclusions. Leave something to the Seven Lords people.

This song actually has nothing to do with taking advantage of anyone. It’s a song about how incredibly scandalous it might be seen for an unchaperoned woman to stay late — or heaven forbid — overnight at a man’s house.

Even if she indeed wants to.

A blizzard was a semi-acceptable excuse — but barely.

“Hey what’s in this drink” was a stock joke at the time, and the punch line was invariably that there’s actually pretty much nothing in the drink, not even a significant amount of alcohol.

Several times the woman says she wants to stay but is worried about what other people (specifically mentioning her brother or father, neighbor and her aunt) will think.

She also says she “ought to say no.” Not that she does.

It’s late at night, cold, snowing, and she wants to stay but is worried about her image.

She makes the drink joke and explicitly says she wants to stay at the guy’s house several times.

The male is singing out socially acceptable excuses.

It’s more about negotiating a self-imposed curfew than anything. How is this offensive to anyone?

Backlash

Fortunately, the vendetta against Baby, It’s Cold Outside has the predictable result of making the song soar in popularity.

Suddenly, people who previously had no opinion on the ditty now claim to adore it.

It’s basically what I term the “You’re not the Boss of Me Backlash.”

I think I have now heard it more this year than in all my previous seasons.

I mean, if we really want to discuss offensive songs, I have always found I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus to be kind of icky, but people love it so who am I to complain?

I also would rather never hear the Snoopy and the Red Baron Song ever just because I do not like that song.

My real agenda is to continue each year to try to recruit people to Team “Dislike the Little Drummer Boy.” There is just only so much “rump a pum pumming” one song should offer.

I know to many it’s a beloved classic. To me, it’s the extended dance mix of Christmas songs. Fortunately, I am also aware that despite my very best attempts, life is not “all about me.”

So the song remains. I just laugh and change the channel — or deal with it.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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