Radio Ban: “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and Other Songs Ahead



Even in the kids movie, The Elf, Will Ferrell and Zooey Deshanel sing Baby It’s Cold Outside.

Cam Cyr, Contributing Writer

Written by Frank Loesser, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been a hit Christmas hit for the last few decades. However, due to the recent #MeToo movement, this song has taken on a different meaning. #MeToo is a movement against sexual harassment and assault, and many of the #MeToo supporters have argued that this popular song is very sexist, and promotes date rape. The song includes many lines where the man singing pressures the woman to stay by making excuses. During the song the male questions the woman, “How can you do this to me?”, centering the problem around himself and making the woman feel guilty.

According to Hingham High School sophomore Kaleigh Ciraface, “ …that it is a little controversial, but the guy who wrote the song was intending to make a good Christmas song”. Like Ciraface, many people have vocalized that the time period it was written in excuses the language that today implies sexual harassment. The song was written in 1944, in a time when so many thought that it was a harmless song. Also, some people have defended the song, stating that the man is concerned about the woman and wants her to be safe rather than being aggressive towards the woman. 

However, to most people today, the song is seen as manipulative and sexist, especially during the parts when the woman continually tells the man that she wants to leave. Instead of supporting her, he does not reply to her comment. When the woman states, “I ought to say no, no, no,” he replies with saying, “mind if I move in closer?”, and when she says “at least I’m gonna say that I tried, ” he replies,  “what’s the sense in hurting my pride?”. Both lyrics express that the man wants her to stay despite her constant refusal. 

However, many radio stations across the country have banned the song because of the lyrics that some say are offensive and inappropriate. John Legend and Kelly Clarkson recently made a new version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” by tweaking the lyrics so the male is supportive of the woman, and offers his help. Hingham High School sophomore Ella Kennedy believes, “although the older song is sexist and promotes date rape, I think that it is a better Christmas song than the new version.” This revamp is enjoyed by some, but most do not want to listen to it since it came from a sexist song, and because it is not as catchy as the original song. 

After Baby It’s Cold Outside was banned, many people have discussed how another Christmas classic, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, should be banned. White Christmas seems like a very innocent song, but the song was written during the uprise of segregation. When the man sings, “May all your Christmases be white”, some people believe he is implying that African Americans and other people of color shouldn’t celebrate Christmas, although it sounds like he is saying that all Christmases should be experienced with snow. These arguments about how some Christmas songs are offensive poses the question, what crosses the limit, and which songs are okay to listen to? Comment your response below.