The Voice coaches John Legend and Kelly Clarkson’s have dropped an updated version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” for the #MeToo era. In recent years, the 1949 holiday tune has come under fire for lyrics that depict a man plying a woman with drinks in an attempt to get her to stay, while she’s persistent about the need to get home. By today’s standards, the song has a creepy vibe.
The lyrics original lyrics go: “I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside)/ I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)/ 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).”
While the new version goes: “I really can’t stay (baby, it’s cold outside)/ I’ve got to go away (I can call you a ride)/ This evening has been (so glad that you dropped in)/ So very nice (time spent with you is paradise)/ My mother will start to worry (I’ll call a car and tell ’em to hurry)/ My daddy will be pacing the floor (Wait, what are you still livin’ home for?).”
In another verse, Kelly sings “What will my friends think if I have one more drink?” while John replies “It’s your body and your choice.”
There has been some backlash to the new song. The Talk host Sharon Osbourne said, “To change an innocent lyric, to what is it, ‘Your mind and your body?’ What the hell are you on? That’s ridiculous,” she said on The Talk. “I have to tell you, I love John Legend. I love John Legend’s wife, his family. He’s an amazing artist that I really respect. Why do you do this? That’s not right.”
Meanwhile, Dean Martin recorded a popular version of the song, and his daughter Deana isn’t happy with the lyric change either. “You do not change the lyrics to the song,” she told UK TV show Good Morning Britain. “He’s made it more sexual with those words … and I think what he’s done is, he’s stealing the thunder from [composer] Frank Loesser’s song and from my dad. He should write his own song if he doesn’t like this one, but don’t change the lyrics. It’s a classic, perfect song.”
On the other hand, Loesser’s daughter told NBC News last year that she understood why modern women might take offense to the original lyrics.
“It’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties,” Susan Loesser said. “But ever since (Bill) Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”
Listen to John Legend and Kelly Clarkson sing an updated version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” below.