“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?)”
Not my words, of course, but those of Frank Loesser in his 1944 classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which has been covered by just about anyone who can carry a tune!
Most recently, soul titan, John Legend, and the always-wonderful Kelly Clarkson have taken to the booth in anticipation of his Christmas album.
There’s just one difference! Legend has re-written sections of the song following last year’s controversy surrounding the seemingly suggestive lyrics. Critic slated verses as condoning sexual harassment or even date rape.
A new verse goes as follows:
Clarkson: “What will my friends think…”
Legend: “I think they should rejoice.”
Clarkson: “…if I have one more drink?”
Legend: “It’s your body, and your choice.”
“I really can’t stay (baby it’s cold outside)
I’ve gotta go away (I can call you a ride)
This evening has been (so glad that you dropped in)
So very nice (time spent with you in paradise)
My mother will start to worry (I’ll call a car and tell ’em to hurry.)”
One of the seemingly problematic lines from the original song was “Say, what’s in this drink?,” which modern listeners believed to imply date rape.
However, some feminist defenders of the festive song said that “Say, what’s in this drink” was merely an idiom of the times, which referred to someone doing or saying something they wouldn’t normally do as a kind of self-defense – not a genuine probe.
I guess it’s open to interpretation!