BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The seasonal duet “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been the topic of debate in recent years because of modern contextual interpretations of the popular song written by Frank Loesser in 1944.
For some, the song portrays a man — identified as “Wolf” — badgering and ignoring the protests of a woman — identified as “Mouse” — which may be interpreted as sexual coercion. The lyrics can be alarming to a modern audience.
Lines such as “Say what’s in this drink?” “No cabs to be had out there,” “What’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride,” and “The answer is no” make the song sound like a woman trying to leave a man’s house while he attempts to make sexual advances without her consent and possibly even drugging her.
However, others argue concerns are overblown.
For example, the line “Say what’s in this drink?” could been a nod to a strong drink making a person say or do something they wouldn’t normally do, which was a common joke in the 1930s and ’40s.
So, is “Baby It’s Cold Outside” just a flirtatious call-and-response song or a date rape anthem? You be the judge.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” lyrics:
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?)
My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I’d better scurry (beautiful please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (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)
I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (oh baby don’t hold out)
But baby, it’s cold outside
I simply must go (but baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (but baby, it’s cold outside)
Your welcome has been (how lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (look out the window at this dawn)
My sister will be suspicious (gosh your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door (waves upon the tropical shore)
My maiden aunts mind is vicious (gosh your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more (never such a blizzard before)
I’ve gotta get home (but baby, you’d freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat (it’s up to your knees out there)
You’ve really been grand (I thrill when you touch my hand)
But don’t you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pneumonia and died)
I really can’t stay (get over that old out)
[Both] Baby, it’s cold
[Both] Baby, it’s cold outside