It's Cold Outside, So Baby, Pour Me That Drink

Chicago Tribune photo.

Chicago Tribune photo.

Have we really come to this? Radio stations are banning the song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" because some think the lyrics promote date rape drugs.

It's enough to make me sing, "Maybe just a cigarette more." And sure, I'll have that drink.

I am all in over the #MeToo movement. Women around the world have been putting up with abuse for centuries. It's about time. Way overdue.

But rape doesn't rear its ugly head in the song. It's flirtatious banter back and forth between a couple. She dropped by his place. Now she's worried about what the neighbors will think, and what her family may do if she stays out too late. They don't even kiss.

A single woman goes to her boyfriend's apartment to have a drink, sit by the fire and listen to music. Sounds perfectly cozy on a freezing night. He doesn't want her to leave so soon. Is this criminal behavior?

When the song is over, we don't know how their night ends. Did she go home, stay another hour or spend the night? That's the beauty of music. We can interpret it anyway we wish.

Where is Dean Martin when you need him?

Chicago Tribune photo.

Chicago Tribune photo.

The legendary Broadway composer, Frank Loesser, penned this song in 1944 during World War II. He wrote it as a duet for him to sing with his wife at parties.  The intent was to entertain their friends, not to cause controversy and scandal.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1950. It appeared in the 1949 film, "Neptune's Daughter" and the duet was sung by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban. Pretty tame lyrics for a 1949 audience don't you think?

The line getting the most backlash, "Say, what's in this drink?" seems to be the culprit.

My beloved father made a wicked Manhattan. When my Aunt Margaret, Grandma Bessie and Grandpa Dillon came to Chicago for the Christmas holidays, dad would fix them a strong one to sip by the fire before dinner.

I fondly remember my Aunt often saying, "Tom, what did you put in this drink!" But it was a compliment. No watered down booze in his cocktails. My dad had no intention of date raping my mother's sister nor his mother or father-in-law, that's for sure. He just thought if you were going to have a drink, it better be a good one.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is on my Christmas loop of songs. I love to hear it because it reminds me of my late parents. Mitch Miller Christmas music playing on the stereo, the scotch pine Christmas tree glowing with bubble lights and a roaring fire in the corner stone fireplace.

Sentimental and sweet memories. Not about a man trying to get his girlfriend drunk or slip a drug into her drink to render her unconscious, so he can rape her.

Chicago Tribune photo.

Chicago Tribune photo.

It is cold outside, baby.

I'd much rather stay inside with you, put another record on, stoke up the fire and have that drink.

And I never did care what the neighbors might think.



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Filed under: Lifestyle, Observations

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