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  #1  
Old 07 December 2016, 04:14 PM
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Icon106 Someone Finally Gave 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' Reasonable Lyrics

Quote:
"Baby, It's Cold Outside" brings questions along with its holiday cheer. Questions like: "Wait, why won't he just let her go home?" and "Did this lovable Christmas song just imply that he drugged her drink?"

This couple has completely rewritten the lyrics to sound a lot less disconcerting.
http://cheezburger.com/328199/someon...sonable-lyrics

https://soundcloud.com/lydia-hoglund/its-cold-outside


... don't read the comments... Happy Holidays, everyone...
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  #2  
Old 08 December 2016, 10:14 AM
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Neither of those links still work for me, but I did find it on Youtube. It isn't really "reasonable" in that it doesn't function as a standalone song (really, it's cool, but I thought you would have left by now), but only as a commentary to people already familiar with the original.

The original song definitely sounds pretty rapey to modern ears, and it hasn't aged well in that sense. But it's not quite so clear cut in the original cultural context. In that era there were strong social pressures and people that would judge the woman for doing what she wanted to do, which was not leave. That's where the real coercion was, not between the two of them. She was trying to talk herself into leaving, not because she wanted to but because that's what other people would expect from her, and she wasn't in any hurry. They were collaborating on trying to find a justification for not leaving that might hold up enough for a thin veneer of respectability. These days, society wouldn't care what they do, so to a modern listener, there is no other way to interpret it but coercion by the man to get her to do something she declined.
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  #3  
Old 08 December 2016, 01:35 PM
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Agreeing about the cultural context. When I first heard it I assumed that she wanted to stay and was looking for an excuse to do so, and that was the way the song was generally taken at the time. (The woman also sings some of the lines about its being cold and stormy, and her tone, at least in the versions I heard, was flirty rather than disturbed.)

When one removes the assumption that the woman can't just say yes without incurring blame, it does indeed drastically change the meaning.

Compare tickling a child who's saying 'no, stop!" but also giggling. If the assumption is that one's supposed to say 'no, stop' while being tickled -- and it at least used to be -- , the person doing the tickling is likely to keep going, even if no harm is meant.

The problem is of course that in either case the 'no' may be serious. I found that the only way to stop people tickling me -- which I genuinely hate(d), as in fingers-on-chalkboard hate -- was to scream very loudly right in their ears. They'd get mad -- I was breaking the societal rules, though not as badly as if I'd punched them -- but they'd stop. I hope that these days a child's 'no' to being tickled gets taken more seriously; but am not sure.
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Old 13 December 2016, 04:27 PM
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It's absolutely certain that the woman in the song wants to stay. Look at the lyrics:

I really can't stay -- you only say this when you are reluctant to leave
Got to go away -- "got to" -- you're required to. Other obligations force you to.
This evening has been So very nice -- She's having a good time
My mother will start to worry -- her mother, not her.
My father will be pacing the floor -- her father, not her
So really I'd better scurry -- again, an obligation, not a desire.
Well maybe just half a drink more -- She clearly is in no hurry to leave when she says this.
The neighbors might think -- The neighbors, not her.
Say what's in this drink -- the most problematic line, but only because people today don't understand the context. See below.
I wish I knew how To break this spell -- she's attracted to him
I ought to say no no -- societal obligation, no her desire.
At least I'm going to say I tried -- she has put in her formal protest, so she can now do what she really wants.
I simply must go -- obligation again.
The answer is no -- ambiguous -- is the answer to him or to her obligations?
The welcome has been So nice and warm -- she shows approval of the way she's being treated.
My sister will be suspicious -- her sister, not her
My brother will be there at the door -- her brother will disapprove, not her
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious -- Her aunt will think something bad is going on.
But maybe just a cigarette -- Yet she knows this will allow her to stay longer. Again, she doesn't want to leave.
I got to get home -- obligation, not her desire.
Say lend me a comb -- Another way to delay her departure.
You've really been grand -- Clearly, she likes being with him.
But don't you see. There's bound to be talk tomorrow -- again, worrying about what others will think, not what she wants.
At least there'll be plenty implied -- same as previous line.
I really can't stay -- obligation, not her desire.
(Both) Baby it's cold
(Both) Baby it's cold outside -- she agrees to stay.

There are two misinterpretations of "What's in this drink?" One is that it's silly to think it has anything to do with drugging her; it was a practice that didn't exist until decades after the song was written. Second, it was a common trope of the time, and the answer was always "Nothing." It translates to mean "I'm doing something uncharacteristic, of my own free will, and am blaming alcohol as a way to cover myself if questioned."

As for the man, his lyrics are primarily giving her excuses she can tell people so that she can do what she really wants.

Ultimately this is a song about a woman who is attracted to a man and, despite giving lip service to societal norms, eventually follows her own desires.

Honi soit qui mal y pense.
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  #5  
Old 13 December 2016, 10:02 PM
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Most people know that's how the song was meant but the point is that's not what it necessarily how it sounds - nor necessarily how it should sound to someone who's sensitive to that particular situation. What does a woman say when she really does want to leave? You go through all of her objections and write them off one by one simply by denying that she is being honest or by interpreting them in a way that would imply she wants to say. Little in the actual words suggests so. That's the exact problem with the song and the exact problem with people assuming "well, she says no but she means yes."

I could itemise but why don't you just read what you read one by one.
Quote:
"I really can't stay" -- you only say this when you are reluctant to leave
WTH? Again, what's she supposed to say if she wants to leave? "I really really really can't stay"?? And so forth. For most of the items you provide zero justification for that intrepretations. You just claim "no one would say this if they really wanted to leave". I've said those things lots of times when I really wanted to leave or really had to leave - especially when it's just two people and I don't want some kind of weird unpredictable interpretation of my exact words. And I would guess the chances of me being date raped are far far less than those of many other people. I can't even imagine how carefully they would have to tread that line - trying to politely decline while also trying to avoid a scene.
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  #6  
Old 14 December 2016, 04:35 AM
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Using alcohol to get a woman drunk or slipping something more into her drink in order to prevent her from saying no isn't something that was just come up with in the last couple of decades. It was something that happened when this song was written even if it wasn't talked about in polite society.
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  #7  
Old 14 December 2016, 09:37 AM
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Roll eyes

Come now; we all know drugs didn't exist before 1944 -- and alcohol was only drunk intentionally.
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  #8  
Old 14 December 2016, 04:58 PM
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I think it's fairly obvious that the original intent is to portray a woman who is looking for excuses as to why she's late (or not going home at all?).

However, the fact that it sounds super-rape-y to modern ears is enough to argue for retiring this particular song. It's not as though it's some musical masterpiece that future generations will be poorer for not knowing. Plenty of songs from that era were forgettable and have been forgotten; what's one more?
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  #9  
Old 14 December 2016, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Using alcohol to get a woman drunk or slipping something more into her drink in order to prevent her from saying no isn't something that was just come up with in the last couple of decades. It was something that happened when this song was written even if it wasn't talked about in polite society.
No doubt that's true but that wasn't what the song was about and it's not how the audience at the time would have taken it. Sometimes we way overthink things and this song is a good example of that.
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  #10  
Old 14 December 2016, 05:38 PM
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Key and Peele already tackled this, hilariously, back in like 2012.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc_F0zP9usU
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  #11  
Old 14 December 2016, 06:50 PM
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I don't think anyone thinks the song was intended to portray the set up for date rape. But that doesn't mean that it must lack those overtones. In the time that it was written, even more so than now (I hope), it was not at all unusual for women to be coerced, pressured, bullied, into sex. In that context, women had/have to balance things like not alienating men, not angering them--which, depending on the man could lead to anything from a breakup, to a ruined reputation, to violence--not seeming to be a bad sport, or a prude, but also not being "loose." Just as ganzfeld said, there really would not necessarily be any difference in how a woman in those circumstances would express genuinely wanting to leave vs. making insincere protests.

And back then, the excuses were more likely to be viewed and treated as insincere--which is a reflection of the view of women's sexual agency. It's a bit like watching an old movie--say Breakfast at Tiffany's--where there is a terribly racist portrayal that went unrecognized at the time. Many people are not comfortable with a handwave about it being a different time, and the excuse that it was not intended to be harmful.

Pointing out that it is a product of its time is fine. Using that to say that the lyrics are therefore not problematic is not, IMO.
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Old 14 December 2016, 09:32 PM
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I am far more troubled by the lyrics to many songs that are being written and sung currently, and are around all year, than I am by a song that was written over 70 years ago that shows up for a few weeks and then gets little to no air time for about 11 months. Many of these contemporary songs make Baby It's Cold Outside seem like a gentle nursery rhyme.
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  #13  
Old 14 December 2016, 10:34 PM
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Many of those songs are not treated as if they're wholesome family songs that must be listened to every year.
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  #14  
Old 14 December 2016, 10:44 PM
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My point is that by comparison Baby it's Cold Outside is a wholesome family song, at any rate no one needs to listen to it if they don't want to anymore than anyone usually needs to listen to anything else they don't want to. Well except for in stores of course, I guess if the lyrics to this song are so appalling to you then you might want to complain to managers of stores that play seasonal music and demand that this song be struck off their playlist.
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  #15  
Old 14 December 2016, 11:27 PM
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If you want to talk about problematic lyrics in other songs, I'm happy to hear what you have to say. Even if this song's lyrics are not *the most harmful lyrics imaginable* people can still point out the issues with them. And no, it does not mean that I also have to complain to store managers. I'm pretty sure there are names for those fallacies.
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  #16  
Old 15 December 2016, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
WTH? Again, what's she supposed to say if she wants to leave? "I really really really can't stay"?? And so forth.
I don't know about you but usually when i want to leave somewhere I just say "Ok I'm going now see you later".
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  #17  
Old 15 December 2016, 10:42 AM
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Whatever works for you. Some people do say "I really can't stay." Some use both, among other expressions. Some try to speak carefully when they think the person telling them to stay is starting to get creepily stubborn and aggressive.

The point is that there's no way to tell from that expression that, as RealityChuck claimed, she actually does want to stay but for some stupid reason can't say it as easily as you seem to be able to say you're leaving.
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Old 15 December 2016, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkster View Post
I don't know about you but usually when i want to leave somewhere I just say "Ok I'm going now see you later".
Are you suggesting that proves that someone who says "I really can't stay" means "I want to stay"? Surely not.
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Old 15 December 2016, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
If you want to talk about problematic lyrics in other songs, I'm happy to hear what you have to say. Even if this song's lyrics are not *the most harmful lyrics imaginable* people can still point out the issues with them. And no, it does not mean that I also have to complain to store managers. I'm pretty sure there are names for those fallacies.
I get annoyed to if someone points out to me that there are bigger issues than my issues, fair enough. I have no problem with people pointing out 'problematic lyrics' however when they also insist on bringing to bear a 2016 interpretation on a song written in 1944 it is worth pointing out, IMO, that this too is problematic.
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  #20  
Old 15 December 2016, 01:48 PM
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Sue, if it's used to judge the people who wrote it in 1944; or the people who played it and listened to it in 1944 or for that matter 1954 or 1964 or even 1974 -- then I agree with you.

However, saying that we shouldn't be playing it casually in 2016 when many of the hearers don't understand the historical context is another matter. It wasn't rapey in 1944. It is rapey now.



(Note: if one's listening to a performance rather than reading the lyrics, the tone of voice of the female singer -- again, at least in the performances I've heard -- is an additional cue that no, she doesn't really want to go home. In the performances I've seen, that information's also in the body language. But again, all of this relies on the cultural assumption of the time that the woman can't just say yes straight out without censure.)

ETA: if you personally like the song, and are thinking of it in the historical context, I don't see any harm in playing it privately, or in the company of others taking it the same way. But including it in the standard rotation of holiday music played in stores and all over radio stations is another matter.
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