We watched 92 year old Tony Bennett croon Christmas carols at us from the television tonight. All I could think about was how awesome it would be if Tony Bennett sang “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with a powerful female from musical history. There are so many options truly, between Madonna and Beyonce, but in my mind I zero in on Natalie Cole and Nancy Sinatra, and not because they have talented fathers; rather, I think about them as perfect partners in SPITE of their famous fathers. Through years of professional and personal challenges, they found their own voices, style, boots that were made for walking, and then they just sang their hearts out.
Since radio stations have started banning the 74 year song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside, also my personal favorite Christmas song, the one I hum all December long, whether it’s cold outside or not, I have wondered if I would write about it. Yes, it annoys me. But what would I actually say? Tonight after watching Tony Bennett on TV singing with Diana Krall, a respected jazz singer at least half, maybe even a third, his age, I knew what had to be said.
Normally, I’m pretty articulate. Normally, I keep it mostly positive during the holidays, but this “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” being banned makes me sad. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is one of the greatest songs in history. These lyrics have nothing to do with the “Me Too” movement, and I’m a 44 year old woman, speaking from a very liberal point of view.
My husband on the other hand isn’t so liberal, yet I love him despite his political renderings. Here is an area where we agree wholeheartedly:
- This is a song about wanting to spend time with someone you like, and it happens to be very cold outside. Maybe you care about them. Maybe you have the hots for them. Maybe you are smitten. Maybe you are like my really awesome elderly neighbor who hates for me to worry about him but wanted me to know he was headed to Vegas to see his lady friend. He doesn’t love it there, but she hates the cold. See that– “Baby, it’s cold outside” could totally have applied to them. He lost his wife almost ten years ago to the day, he shared with me tonight when stopping by to share he was headed out of town in the morning and would be back in May sometime. I joked with him that he should write the sequel since he will be in Vegas, “Baby, It’s Hot Outside” and he chuckled with his 80 years of life, 50 years of marriage, and about five of having a lady friend.
- Here’s the thing, when you care about someone, you want to spend more time with them. He isn’t slipping her a roofie, or forcing her to underage or overage drink for that matter. There is the offer of more time together, and, in the words of my husband, “Who doesn’t love the chase?”
- When you want them to spend more time with you, you ask them to consider staying longer, especially if it’s stormy outside. These were different times certainly when this song was written, but but today, we make the choice, and choices are everything. Should I stay, or should I go?
- Remember just wanting to spend time with your love of your life above all else? Remember flirting and chasing and retreating when the chase got too close? Remember wondering if he/she would want to stay longer and that feeling between your heart and your head and the nervous kind of heart pounding.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a harmless dating invitation to stay longer. My mother used to say nothing ever good happens after midnight; however, I know she stayed out well past midnight on occasion. Hell, I think she still says it, yet, she let me stay out late as long as I called so she knew where I was. I know parents worry about their kids staying out longer. Here’s the cool thing—we were empowered to make a choice. If we wanted to stay, we stayed. If we wanted to go, we left, even if it when it was very cold outside.
Fun fact: When the song appeared in the film “Neptune’s Daughter”, the song is actually performed twice in the same movie– once with the lady being the guest and secondly with the gentlemen as the guest. Interesting, no?