Songwriters Rework ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ To Be About Consent
Let’s be honest, the original version is really creepy.
The song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been a perennial holiday hit since it was composed by Frank Loesser in 1944. The call-and-response song is about a female trying to leave a man’s house while he tries to convince her to stay because “it’s cold outside.” The song has been performed as a duet by countless performers from Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting in 1949 to Bill Murray and Jenny Lewis in 2015.
Over the past few years, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has come under scrutiny for being an example of rape culture. The woman is politely trying to leave the house while the man cajoles her to stay and “not hold out.” The female singer goes so far as to question what he put in her drink, and the song’s original score even labels the man’s part as “wolf” and the woman’s as “mouse.”
So singers Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski decided to give the song a 2016 rewrite, and this time it has a strong message of consent.
“It was meant to be playful, but all those lyrics just sit wrong with me — especially being from this generation,” Liza says.
“It’s just very aggressive,” Lemanski says. “He’s not respecting her wishes to leave.”
So the two have rewritten the song with the man singing “Baby, I’m fine with that” and “Been hoping you get home safe.” The performers say they will donate any proceeds from their new version to the Sexual Violence Center of Minnesota.
Here’s Liza and Lemanski’s new version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”