Christmas classic Baby It’s Cold Outside will no longer be played on some Canadian radio stations amid concerns over what some people say are inappropriate lyrics in the wake of the MeToo movement.
On Tuesday, a handful of all-Christmas music stations owned by Canadian broadcasters, including Corus Entertainment, Bell Media, Rogers and CBC Radio, said the 1940s song will not be played during its holiday programming.
The CBC said Tuesday while it recognizes “Song lyrics are always open to interpretation,” the broadcaster won’t play the holiday song.
“While we consider both points of view, and in light of the times we are living in, we have chosen to remove the song, for the time being, from two of our holiday music streams,” public affairs head Chuck Thompson said.
Corus Entertainment won’t air the song on its five holiday format stations across the country.
Bell Media said the company chose not to include the Christmas tune on its playlists this year, while Rogers said the song was removed from its stations but declined to outline how it reached the decision to pull it from the airwaves.
“The song wasn’t scheduled for airplay on any Bell Media Radio stations and there are no plans to play it in the future,” Bell Media spokesman Scott Henderson said.
Last week, a Cleveland radio station WDOK Christmas 102.1 yanked Baby It’s Cold Outside, citing concerns over the MeToo movement.
The 1940s duet is usually performed by a male, who tries to persuade a female to stay at his place during wintry weather.
“My mother will start to worry – Beautiful, what’s your hurry?
Father will be pacing the floor – Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I’d better scurry – Beautiful, please don’t hurry
Maybe just a half a drink more – Put some records on while I pour” reads a verse.
“I ought to say no, no, no – Mind if I move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried – What’s the sense in hurting my pride?
I really can’t stay – Baby don’t hold out
Ah, but it’s cold outside” reads another.
Concern over the song has existed for years, leading to many reinterpretations of the lyrics.
Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt flipped the gender roles in a performance for the pop singer’s 2013 holiday special with the Muppets.
And two years ago, Minnesota couple Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski rewrote the lyrics to include lines about consent, such as a response to the woman’s line “I ought to say no, no, no” with the man saying: “You reserve the right to say no.”
WDOK’s listeners chimed in on the station’s decision to pull the song last week.
“Then I guess you should stop playing Santa baby, I saw mommy kissing Santa, Grandma got run over, because people think those are offensive too,” Michelle Nicola commented. This PC stuff is getting ridiculous, play whatever if people don’t like it they will turn the knob. You will never please everyone 100 per cent.”
“This song IS inappropriate, but I also understand it was written in the 40’s,” Arlyn Frances Wheatcraft commented. “Erasing history won’t change the future, education will.”
“You have that song all wrong. It is a love song, a conversation between a couple,” Maryann Tyukodi Langille chimed in. “He would like her to stay and she wants to go home. It is a conversation that probably happens a lot. This is total nonsense and you guys should be ashamed of your selves.”
Canadian music journalist and Corus Radio personality Alan Cross chimed in on the tune, “defending what many consider a song that many find offensive.”
“It’s very true that the current generation will look at the art of previous generations differently,” Cross wrote in a blog post Wednesday. “We are never obligated to accept the standards and practices that were once considered okay. Times and attitudes change. We’ve jettisoned many things from the past because they clearly no longer align with modernity.”
The journalist also went on to caution “we also have to be very careful about how we apply modern standards to other Christmas songs.”
Global News is owned by Corus Entertainment.
–with a file from the Canadian Press