By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Come November and new Christmas themed movies start emerging by the dozen on our screens. And how can romantic comedies not feature a few old favorite Christmas tracks? Like “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.

Almost every year, the song gets new reboots, tributes and covers. It’s often debated for its ‘problematic’ lyrics, since the song is about a girl saying she should really get home, but her date pressures her to stay back, to have another drink and get cozy. “What’s in my drink?” she asks in the original lyrics, making a lot of people call the song ‘rapey’. In-fact, that’s exactly what the protagonist in the 2021 film ‘Love Hard’ says during a scene where she is asked to sing the song with the male lead as part of Christmas caroling.

“I am not singing that, that is like the sexual assault theme song” she protests. “You just do your part, and I’ll change my lyrics so the song doesn’t sound rape-y”, her friend assures her. So here are the new lyrics from the film, with the male bits updated with Gen Y lyrics, complete with an Uber ride reference.

I really can’t stay
No problem there’s the door
I’ve got to go away
I hear ya, say no more
This evening has been
Totally consensual
So very nice
I hope you get home safe tonight

My mother will start to worry
Here’s my phone give her a call
My father will be pacing the floor
Adios, say no more
So really I’d better scurry
I’ve been saying that for a while
Well, maybe just half a drink more
Slow down, that’s quite a pour

The neighbors might think
It’s just my old friend Troy
Say what’s in this drink
It’s just lemon LaCroix
I wish I knew how
To take a hint?
To break the spell
Do you know how to spell ‘farewell’?
I ought to say no, no, no
I’ll call you an Uber, they’re close
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
I feel like you’re not trying at all
I really can’t stay
Well, maybe just go out

Cause Baby, it’s cold outside
Maybe just go outside

Changed lyrics from the film ‘Love Hard’

Actors Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O Chang deliver this adorable updated rendition of the song, making it one of the highlights of their RomCom “Love Hard”. And since we are on the topic, let’s talk about how the lyrics aren’t problematic because it sounds like a douchebag is trying to pressure his date. In an incisive Medium write-up titled ‘The Problem “With Baby It’s Cold Outside” Isn’t Consent. It’s Slut Shaming’ by Cammila Collar, the writer explains how the woman in the song wants to go home only because the society expects her to. Not once in the song does the woman says she does not want to spend more time with her date, instead she cites how her parents will start worrying and the neighbors will start gossiping if she isn’t back home like a ‘good girl’ before curfew. She says “she ought to say no”, not that she wants to say no, and that’s really the problem – of having to conform to an invisible rule-book on how ladies ought to behave.

The song was written in 1944 and first seen on the big screen in the film ‘Neptune’s Daughter’ in 1949, the lyrics are completely in sync with the time it came out. Obviously there will be hell to pay if a girl is not back home on time. The original lyrics are too outdated for America, but in other parts of the world, girls still gotta worry about not being out too late post a date. But yes, we are all glad there is a fun updated version, where the guy doesn’t sound like a clingy creep.

Here are the original lyrics that were modified in the film –

(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 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 hurting my pride
(I really can’t stay) Baby, don’t hold doubt
[Both] Baby, it’s cold outside

(I simply must go) Baby, it’s cold outside
(The answer is no) Baby, it’s cold outside

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