John Legend and Kelly Clarkson have remade a holiday classic – Baby, It’s Cold Outside.
What’s so newsworthy about that you might be asking?
Well, apparently some members of the #MeToo movement have issues with the song’s lyrics, claiming they sound too “date-rapey”. They’ve even gone so far as to petition radio stations to have the song pulled from holiday rotation – successfully in some cases I might add.
Here are some of the revised lyrics to Baby, It’s Cold Outside:
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.”
There is a long list of well-known crooners who have sung Baby, It’s Cold Outside over the years. Highly admired and respected names such as Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Charles, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Tom Jones and the list goes on and on since the song was originally written back in 1944.
It’s taken 75 years and hundreds of renditions of this holiday classic for one group to completely tarnish what is nothing more than a fun, playful tune written by Frank Loesser into something malicious.
I think it’s worth noting that Loesser wrote the popular Broadway musicals Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying – winning Tony Awards for both.
I think it’s important that someone speaks up to defend Loesser as the #MeToo movement continues to brand him, and anyone who sings Baby, It’s Cold Outside, as monsters who support date-rape situations.
In an article done by NPR on Frank Loesser, they spoke about how he joined the Army and worked in a radio production unit when World War II broke out. Loesser once wrote:
“I guess like plenty of other people, I can’t think of songwriting, or much of anything else, without thinking of the war, too. When I hear firsthand accounts of what our fighting men have done, well, being a songwriter, I immediately think of trying to tell their stories in song.”
Does that sound like the kind of person who would write a song about date-rape?
Does that sound like the kind of songwriter who would sprinkle innuendos about sexism towards women throughout his lyrics?
I don’t know about you, but isn’t it insulting to both him, his family and everyone who’s sung this song to make such hateful assumptions?
If the #MeToo movement is so concerned with songs that are derogatory, I suggest they start with rap music, which doesn’t even try to hide its sexism towards women but spells it out proudly and clearly. It’s known as “misogyny”.
From Wikipedia: “Misogyny in rap music refers to lyrics, videos or other aspects of rap music that support, glorify, justify or normalize the objectification, exploitation, or victimization of women. It can range from innuendoes to stereotypical characterization and defamations.”
Funny, I don’t hear John Legend or Kelly Clarkson asking their rapper friends to re-write their lyrics to help support the #MeToo movement. I guess neither of them minds a little free publicity. If women have any lyrics they should be offended by, rap music would be a good place to start.
At the end of the day, you could take any song, movie, television show, poem, book, short story, Broadway musical, comic strip, you name it, and turn around the authors original intent as being racist or even sexist.
That’s not to say that some are not deliberate, but in the case of Baby, It’s Cold Outside, it’s a stretch.
I’m far from a religious person but thought this quote from Oliver Markus Malloy’s book Why Creeps Don’t Know They’re Creeps was a fitting end to this post.
“Whenever I see a social media mob ganging up on a celebrity
for supposedly saying something “offensive” it reminds me of the Salem witch
hysteria: “That’s racist! And me calling you a racist proves that I’m
definitely not a racist myself! That’s sexist! I shame you! And that means I’m
definitely not sexist myself! I shame you for being a bad person. That means
I’m a good person! Look at how really, really offended I am! That means I’m a
really, really good person!”
Malloy continues, “According to the bible, Jesus said ‘let he who is without sin throw the first rock.’ But a lot of people seem to think he said: ‘If you throw rocks at someone else, it proves that you’re without sin.’”