Sunday, December 23, 2012

Baby Its Cold Outside - What kind of rapist is this guy?!?


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 hopin' 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?)
And 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 a half a 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 of hurtin' my pride?)
I really can't stay
(Baby don't hold out)
Ahh, but it's cold outside

I simply must go
(But baby, it's cold outside)
The answer is no
(But baby, it's cold outside)
This 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 a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious
(Ooh your lips are delicious)
Well maybe just a cigarette more
(Never such a blizzard before)

I've got to get home
(But baby, you'll freeze out there)
Say, lend me a coat
(It's up to your knees out there)
You've really been grand
(I thrilled when you touched 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 life long sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied
(If you caught pneumonia and died)
I really can't stay
(Get over that old out)

Ahhh, but it's cold outside


I never really paid much attention the song but generally thought it was just a romantic holiday diddy. That is  until recently when I actually listened to the lyrics. Written in the 40's by songwriter Frank Loesser, the lyrics reflect the sensibilities of the time but in the 21st century that song sounds like the date rapist's theme.



I count no less than four violations here...


Throughout the entire tune the male singer, whom Loesser designated "wolf" on the original song sheet, is desperately trying to get the female singer, designated "mouse", to stay, presumably overnight, as the girl begs off. He totally ignores her pleas and objections while making up all kinds of reasons for her stay. I took a few of her lyrics out and placed them all together and reading or hearing them with out his interruptions makes the whole song sound ominous.

I really can't stay
I've got to go 'way
My mother will start to worry
And father will be pacing the floor
Well, maybe just a half a drink more
Say, what's in this drink?
I ought to say no, no, no sir
At least I'm gonna say that I tried
I really can't stay
The answer is no
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
I got to get home
There's bound to be talk tomorrow
At least there will be plenty implied
I really can't stay

Wolf and mouse...

I don't see how you can construe that as a romantic song even in the 40s. I know it was a different time and all, where a man could openly threaten a woman, especially his wife, for the entertainment of others. The Honeymooners was the most popular show back then and Ralph Kramden was always threatening to beat the shit out of Alice to uproarious laughter but still "what's in this drink?" and "the answer is no." seems more like a transcript from a rape case deposition than lyrics to a romantic, gushy song. And looking at the video with Ricardo Montalbon and Esther Williams, you can see she is clearly trying to get out of the house and Ricky is pulling her arm and taking her clothes off. Dude does everything but go "Giddety giddety!"

More recent versions add a line at the end where the girl says breathlessly "you sure know how to wear a girl down" so clearly people are aware of the scary, uncomfortable overtones of the song. 


doesn't  look so innocent now does it...




1 comment:

  1. For me the line "What's in this drink?" really made me take pause. My immediate thought was "roofies." There was a kind of lecherous tone up till then. With that line it started to sound dangerous.
    What struck me as interesting is that AFTER she had the drink her tone became more complicit. It went from "I can't stay" and "I've got to go" to "I OUGHT to say no" and "At least I'm gonna SAY that I tried."
    That line implies that she's planning on staying but building an excuse. That's where he should have started to worry! His reply about hurting his pride seems to have shut the door but then she reopens it with "Ahh, but it's cold outside." In that stanza she is definitely toying with the idea. Again I point out that it was right after the drink. She seems to regain her resolve after that (perhaps whatever was in that drink wore off faster than he anticipated) but then she decides to stay for another 7 or more minutes (about how long it takes to smoke a cigarette). That is curious considering she just told him about her family's suspicions.
    I see your point in taking some of her choice lines and removing the rest. That is always a slippery slope. You can take lines from most things, no matter how innocent or sinister, and spin them to just about any slant without the context. Look at the political spin doctors. Just something to think about.

    ReplyDelete