Saturday, December 8, 2018

Baby, it's Something All Up in Here....


I have debated all morning, in my head, about writing this.
It will offend some people.
But, if we can't speak freely we have lost one of the most important rights on that badly bashed document in Washington DC.

I am here to defend the song Baby It's Cold Outside.
Yes.
I said it.

Yes, it is a song about a guy trying to convince a gal to stay at his place.

I mean, who's to say that the woman isn't there voluntarily?
(for the sake of clarity, the woman's part is in pink and the man's in blue... and just leave that alone, it's too easy.)

I really can't stay (Baby it's cold outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it's cold outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you'd dropped in)
So very nice

No mention of being kidnapped and locked in a trunk and driven to an undisclosed location...

She has people who know where she is, and to whom she must answer to....
If she stays her reputation will be ruined....

My mother will start to worry
My father will be pacing the floor
So really I'd better scurry
and later:
My sister will be suspicious
My brother will be there at the door
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious
Well maybe just a cigarette more

Of course, Mom is worried. But Dad is pacing, a sure sign of aggression and her brother is waiting for....her....? Why?
And don't get me started on auntie...
What is she is being controlled, not only by the guy she is seeing but by her entire famly...
And NOW she smokes!!!

Or, maybe they just want her to be safe...

And then he starts up with the booze...

Well maybe just a half a drink more (I'll put some records on while I pour)

Now wait a minute, 'he' doesn't actually offer her a drink in the song. She's the one who brought up a drink....
And let's face it, most of us wouldn't be where we are today without alcohol.
Heck, my husband and I would never have met if it weren't for cheap beer...

Okay, it does take a 'dark' turn here:

Say what's in this drink?

But, he's putting on records...
Remember records?
Who has time to slip in a drug while setting up a turntable?

Next...

I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir
At least I'm gonna say that I tried

'At least I'm gonna say that I tried'???
Trying to justify her actions...she clearly knows what she's doing here. And she hair done before coming over...

And think about the general setting of the song. The poor guy is telling her its COLD outside. He mentions the weather EIGHT times:

(Baby it's cold outside) (Look out the window at that storm)(Never such a blizzard before)   (It's up to your knees out there!)

And he's worried about her safety...

(No cabs to be had out there)

he can't send this drunk chick out to drive her drunken self home in a snow storm....

(If you caught pneumonia and died!)

and he doesn't want her to get sick...

Come on! What sort of girl goes over to a guys house in the middle of a raging snow storm without the hope of staying over....
This poor guy has a gal, of questionable sobriety, stuck in his house in the middle of a blizzard!
And maybe the guy really loves her...
And perhaps, she is just playing with him, is enjoying the attention, and from the very start had planned on staying.
Maybe they are...FLIRTING....

Remember flirting?

Now, before I get accused of defending predators, ignoring injustices and putting women's rights behind by a century, I will admit, I edited the lyrics to support my interpretation of this scenario.
And that's the key.
This is MY interpretation.
Every one is allowed to their opinion.

My daughter, at the age of 13 or 14 commented on this very scenario when I played the James Taylor version in the car one year.
I tried to argue my point with her, but how can a mom tell her teenage daughter that this flirty exchange, to have a guy sweet talk her into staying when clearly people would talk, was her mother's secret dream date...?
I couldn't do it.
She grew up in a different era. And I am so very pleased that she was such a self-aware woman even at that young age.
I want her to live in a world where people treat each other with respect and don't force their beliefs on one another, but instead, have intelligent, thoughful discussions.

But I also want her to grow up in a world without censure.
And to ban a song written SEVENTY FOUR years ago because it doesn't fit into some people's idea of 'appropriate'?
I thought we had already fought that battle with Huck Finn and Catcher in the Rye.
Must we now fight it with a fluffy song written for a movie called Neptune's Daughter starring Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban and Xavier Cugat!!
A movie with swimming as a main plot point!
If you actually watch the movie you will see the song sung by Esther and Ricardo in the girl/guy context but later, you will see it in a whole different light when Red sings the female portion and Betty Garrett sings the male.
Could it be, that the song is just poking fun and male female relationships?


So please, enjoy the song if you want. If you don't like it, turn it off or change the station.
But don't be so hateful with your opinion that you forget the fundamentals of free speech.
Because while it might be cold outside, we should never be so cold to one another.


Please enjoy the trailer to Neptune's Daughter.
And come back again when I tackle the scene in the movie where the swimmers are tapping their feet on cross-dressing Red Skelton's junk....



2 comments:

  1. I always just figured he wanted her to stay a little longer. There are a number of songs where the guy is trying to convince the girl to do just that. Just that. I guess I'm an innocent at heart.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great cast and I love all the costumes. Geez! People sure get a stick up their butts sometimes. It was a different time and it's a classic film.

    ReplyDelete

Got a Hairnet sighting? Other weirdness?