Textual Analysis Of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

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No Means No
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We are avowed feminists here at Egotastic! Who loves women more than us? When we are kids we sung Christmas carols without thinking about the lyrics. As we get older we realize, “Hey…THAT’S what this song says?” Think about the first time you realized The Kink’s Lola was about a transvestite. One such revelation came to me last year when a friend of mine pointed out some disturbing things about the Christmas classic Baby It’s Cold Outside, namely that it’s about a sexual predator. The song was written by composer Frank Loesser in 1944 and later sold to MGM. The company put it in the 1949 musical Neptune’s Daughter where it was performed by Ricardo “KHHHHHAAAANNNN!!!!” Montalban and Esther Williams. By far the most popular version was by drunken child beater Bing Crosby and Doris Day. The song is a conversation between a man and a woman, called “Wolf” and “Mouse” in the score. If you think I’m reading too much into the song’s lyrics, keep reading.

“I really can’t stay / Baby it’s cold outside / I gotta go away / Baby it’s cold outside / This evening has been / Been hoping that you’d drop by / So very nice / I’ll hold your hands their 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 better scurry / Beautiful please don’t hurry /Well maybe just a half a drink more / Put some records on while I pour.”

OK, so far it’s not too bad. The guy is definitely being pushy, so at worst you can say that he is coming on too strong and he’s kinda rude. He certainly has no regard for her poor fretting parents. He’s clearly getting her drunk, but let’s face it, we’ve all done that. Some of us would still be virgins without alcohol. Not me. The ladies love Jack-T.

“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 to break the spell / Your eyes are like starlight now / I’ll take your hat your hair looks swell / I ought to say no, no, no sir
Mind if move in closer? / At least I’m gonna say that I tried / What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride? / I really can’t stay /Baby don’t hold out.”

He’s drugged her. “Say, what’s in this drink” and “I wish I knew how to break the spell” indicate that she knows something is wrong. She’s realizing that it wasn’t a normal cocktail she just drank seeing as her “Eyes are like starlight now”. I’m not sure what the 1944 equivalent of a Roofie is, but the “mouse” has just been dosed.

“I simply must go / But baby it’s cold outside / The answer is no / But baby it’s cold outside / This welcome has been so nice and warm / Look out the window at that storm / My sister will be suspicious / Gosh your lips look delicious! / My brother will be there at the door / Waves upon a tropical shore / My maiden aunts mind is vicious / Gosh your lips are delicious! / Well maybe just a cigarette more / Never such a blizzard before.”

She’s telling him that her family knows she’s out with him so that if she disappears or doesn’t show up her brother, sister, and lesbian aunt will be suspicious. Also he keeps saying “Your lips look delicious” which is just creepy. That’s some Hannibal Lecter “I’m gonna eat your liver” kind of psycho.

“I’ve got to get home / But baby you’ll freeze out there / Say lend me a coat? / It’s up to your knees out there! / You’ve really been grand / I feel when you touch my hand / But don’t you see? / How can you do this to me? / There’s bound to be talk tomorrow/ Think of my life long sorrow! / At least there’ll be plenty of invised / If you caught pneumonia and died! / I really can’t stay / Get over that old out / Ooooooooh!”

“How can you do this to me?” How many victims of sexual assault have probably said that to the person that was attacking them? The girl also realizes that she’s going to have a long road to recovery after her ordeal when she says, “Think of my life long sorrow”. Don’t worry, “Mouse”. You’ll find a way to keep going. We’re all here for you.

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