A Sexually Predaceous Christmas Song

 “No!” Means “NO!”

A Winter Romance album coverI don’t know about you, but “Baby It’s Cold Outside” absolutely disgusts me. Every time I hear it sung on the radio (usually by Dean Martin), primarily during the Christmas season, it makes my blood boil! But what happens when I complain? Nothing. It’s “just an innocent song,” they say.

It’s just a “cat and mouse” thing, they say.

But seriously, would you just consider the lyrics? Have we not progressed to the point in society where we recognize red flags when we see them? Or, are we still in the age when it’s perfectly acceptable to coerce a woman, to interpret her “no” as a “yes”?

Is it acceptable these days to care nothing about a girl’s feelings and reputation all because your pride might get hurt if she says no to your advances? Well, that’s all “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is: an aroused sexual predator pressuring a reluctant date to stay the night, drugging her if necessary.

Red Flags

To make my point, I have included the lyrics to “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in this post, highlighting and commenting along the way.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside”

I really can’t stay – Baby it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away – 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

Up until this point, it’s not that bad. Asking someone to stay the night is not the problem (from a legal sense). But things start to progress from questionable to insensitive pressuring very quickly.

My mother will start to worry – Beautiful, what’s your hurry?
Father will be pacing the floor – Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I’d better scurry – Beautiful, please don’t hurry
Maybe just a half a drink more – Put some records on while I pour

So, the girl actually cares about the feelings of her parents – imagine that! But does that matter to the guy? No. He cares nothing for her fears or her parents feelings – sounds like a real “keeper.”

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

Yeah, who cares what the neighbors think? No biggie, right? But isn’t putting drugs in your date’s drink illegal? Isn’t denying your date safe transport home considered kidnapping? Isn’t drugging your date and keeping her against her will the precursors to rape? I guess it’s hard to break the “spell” of a drug once it’s already caused one’s eyes to sparkle like “starlight.”

I ought to say no, no, no – Mind if I move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried – What’s the sense in hurting my pride?
I really can’t stay – Baby don’t hold out
Ah, but it’s cold outside

Notice the “no, no, no” followed by the predator’s advancing moves (as a father, I wan’t to beat the crap out of this guy about now). She said “no,” but she also said she “ought” to say no. Well, what do you expect someone drugged to say??? Now you’ve got a girl who’s unable to decide for herself what to do and a guy who’s making her feel guilty for not putting out!! Whatever happened to the season of giving, not getting, hmmm?

I’ve got to get home – Oh, baby, you’ll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat – It’s up to your knees out there
You’ve really been grand – Thrill when you touch my hand
Why don’t you seeHow can you do this thing to me?

Don’t you just love this? It’s now around the fifth time this girl’s expressed her desire to leave her date’s house, but he won’t give up. Then she appeals to chivalry and asks for his coat, because by now she can’t remember why she doesn’t have one, even though it’s cold enough to be snowing. Does he give it to her like a gentleman should? No, he hides her coat (evidently) and continues to touch her! Finally, she begs him to recognize her reluctance, but all the animal can do is play mind games (a hallmark of predators).

There’s bound to be talk tomorrowThink of my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied – If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can’t stayGet over that hold out
Ah, but it’s cold outside
Oh, baby, it’s cold outside
Oh, baby, it’s cold outside

Once again, it’s all “poor me” from the predator, mixed in with a little twist of feigned caring (“Oh, you’ll get sick!”). Does he care about her reputation? Does he care about her at all? Evidently not. Even after she makes one last plea, all he can say is “get over your holding out on me!” Because, after all, it’s cold outside.

 – Lyrics written by: Frank Loesser, 1944

We say we hate sexual abuse, yet this song continues to be played every Christmas season. How long before we say, “Enough!”?

Am I overreacting? What if it was YOUR daughter? 


Filed under abuse, General Observations, Parenting

12 responses to “A Sexually Predaceous Christmas Song

  1. I’ve heard a version in which she sings “…maybe just a cigarette more…’ as if that’s a length of time. Yes, this is a terrible Christmas song. It’s the “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” of Christmas songs.

    Frank Loesser also wrote Slow Boat to China…which while being a catchy tune, also hinted at a captured woman. The captain of the boat twists the rudder and rips the sail! He even throws the compass over the rail.

  2. Reblogged this on Dave Alexander & Company with David Edgren and Gus Bailey – The Artisan Craft Blog and commented:
    The “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” of Christmas Songs reviewed by Anthony Baker, a pastor who is just getting around to reviewing music of the 1940’s.

  3. This just goes to prove that I listen more to the melody and chorus than the actual lyrics themselves. No wonder it was a successful tune for a guy like Dean Martin. I can just picture him with his martini and cigarette in hand crooning to the love struck young lady. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I never really listened to the lyrics closely before. I never cared for the tune, so I guess I blocked it all out. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    One song I despise is John Lennon’s “Imagine.” From a Christian standpoint, do I really want to imagine no heaven, and no hell? Or tell others to think the same way?!!

  5. I couldn’t agree more! I was never a big Dean Martin fan. He came to popularity when social use of alcohol was becoming the norm and being a lush was somehow cute?! YUCK! Even the album cover with one woman hanging on to him and another trying to lure him away (which doesn’t look like it will be too hard) turns my stomach.

    We blame a lot on the hippies of the 60s for a sexual revolution that changed out social norms, but as you’ve demonstrated well here, this Hollywood pack from the 40s and 50s gave them the nod they needed.

    Would to God a generation of rebels would rise up and shout—they got it wrong—keep your heart with all diligence!!!

    sorry – i’m starting to rant.
    Thanks for this “exposé.” I appreciate it.

  6. I thought I was the only one who recognized the problems with this song. Isn’t it amazing how satan continues to use beautiful music to entice us? Thanks for speaking out on this.

  7. It’s crazy to think how we completely overlook songs like this. I find more and more how songs that I use to enjoy or really jam out to are completely violating to what God has in store for us. This honestly was one of my favorite songs, I just loved the style of the voices and the soothing sound of music, but after reading this and then listening to the song with my mind on Him there is an instant discomfort. Thanks for really breaking this down and sharing.

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