The Island of Misfit Songs, Part 2

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Sure, it's a catchy tune.  Absolutely.  I'm not quite sure where my attention has been though, because I'm not sure if I've ever heard the song before.  And it's an oldie, written in 1944, that has been covered by many artists.

The version I heard was recorded in 1959 by Dean Martin and, I think, Doris Day, and the song is "Baby, It's ColdDean Martin - Baby, it's cold outside Outside."  IF I've heard this song before, I must have only heard the music.  Whatever.

I'm not against "wintry" themed songs mixed in with the Christian songs that herald the Christmas season.  "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," "Silver Bells," etc.  These are very nice songs, and they've become part of the Holiday tradition.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside?" is a misfit.  I can't help but include the entire lyric, credited to Frank Loesser.  It's a duet, with the parenthetical phrases sung by the male:

I really can't stay
(but baby it's cold outside)
I've got to go away
(but baby it's cold outside)
This evening has been
(been hoping that you'd drop in)
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)
So really I'd better scurry
(beautiful please don't hurry)
well maybe just one drink more
(put some records on while I pour)
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
(your eyes are like starlight now)
to break this spell
(I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
I ought to say "no, no, no sir"
(mind if I move in closer)
at least I'm gonna say that I tried
(what's the sense in hurtin' my pride)
I really can't stay
(oh baby don't hold out)

both: baby it's cold out side

I simply must go
(but baby it's cold outside)
the answer is no
(but baby it's cold outside)
your welcome has been
(how lucky that you dropped in)
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 the tropical shore)
my maiden aunt's mind is vicious
(gosh your lips are delicious)
but maybe just a cigarette more
(never such a blizzard before)
I've gotta get home
(but baby you'd freeze out there)
say lend me a coat
(it's up to your knees out there)
you've really been grand
(I thrill when you touch my hand)
but don't you see?
(how can you do this thing to me?)
there's bound to be talk tomorrow
(think of my lifelong sorrow)
at least there will be plenty implied
(if you got pneumonia and died)
i really can't stay
(get over that hold out)

both: Baby it's cold outside

It says Christmas all over, doesn't it?  Maybe it speaks to the reason for the season for some. I like Dean Martin; the song suits him well.  I'm not such a stodgy old prude that I can't admit that there's a worldly humor to it. But it's not a Christmas song, and it doesn't even belong as a "holiday" song.  I

Aside from a short history about the song on Wikipedia, there's also an interesting side story to this song that's documented elsewhere as well.  It turns out that Sayyid Qutb, upon visiting a Colorado church dance at which this song was played, remarked witnessing "arms circled waists, lips met lips, chests met chests, and the atmosphere was full of passion."  This was featured in his anti-Western book, The America I Have Seen, written in 1951.  Qutb would go on to be a key figure in the philosophical groundwork for organizations such as, you guessed it, Al Qaeda, and notably Ayman Zawahiri, the menter of Osama bin Laden.

That's not to say that it's responsible for the extremist world we live in today.  As songs go today, it implies but never states what is more often graphically laid out.  But even an America that condemns immorality in it's celebrities yet celebrates immorality in its fiction would have to admit that the "responsible" notion of protecting an alluring woman from the dangers of the cold doesn't quite hold what anyone would attribute to the moral high ground as the lyric plays out.  Bah humbug.

1 comment :

  1. Just hilariouos from a random incident/point of view. I was listening to Christmas tunes on Sirius when they played it. I was like WTF? This has nothing to do about Christmas. But it did take me back to some memories of cold weather and good looking dates.

    I think the problem is more of the staff. They have no idea what they are pulling to play. It's Dean Martin and he talks about snow. Must be a Christmas song! Nincompoops!

    But I had forgotten what a nice voice he had.