The “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Drama Is Played Out

Either listen or don’t.

baby it's cold outside
Songwriter Frank Loesser (R) and wife singing. (Photo by John Swope/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

We’ve already discussed this multiple times. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a song you’re either going to love or hate- and that opinion could change at any moment.

Each year, like a revolving door, the song comes and goes, the debate over the song comes and goes, and another winter comes and goes.

Jaya Saxena from GQ is sick of it. “The problem is, both sides can find support for their arguments in the song,” he noted. “Those who defend it can point to lines like ‘I ought to say no, no, no sir / At least I’m gonna say that I tried’ as proof that what she’s really worried about is the social stigma (much stronger in 1944) of staying late at a man’s house, and that were it not for nosy neighbors and family, she wouldn’t be trying to leave at all. Some even say it’s a feminist condemnation of gender expectations! But those who want it thrown out can point to the Mouse asking ‘Hey, what’s in this drink?’ and ‘You’re very pushy you know?,’ to which the Wolf responds ‘I like to think of it as opportunistic.’ It’s easy to read that as creepy and predatory.”

The late author of the song, Frank Loesser, has said that the tune was played at the end of parties so folks knew it was time to wrap up and go home. His wife Lynn Garland, who sang the duet with him, says the couple were invited to the best parties because of the “closing act” they performed.

Regardless, the creator is dead. The song, a piece of art, will always be Christmastime fodder for folks looking to argue. Each person who listens to the song hears something different. If you don’t want to listen, then don’t. If you do – Merry Christmas.

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