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Christmas FM won't be playing 'Baby It's Cold Outside' this year

A radio station in Cleveland, Ohio pulled the Christmas classic from its playlist this weekend after listeners complained about the song’s lyrics.

A scene from 1949's Neptune's Daughter
A scene from 1949's Neptune's Daughter
Image: Youtube/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

CHRISTMAS FM HAS said that it will not play the song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ after a decision was taken last year to remove the Christmas classic from its playlist. 

The song, which has been covered by numerous artists since the original 1949 version, has come under scrutiny in recent years for its lyrics in which a man tries to persuade his female guest to stay the night and avoid bad weather. 

This weekend, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio made headlines after it pulled the Christmas classic from its playlist following complaints from listeners. 

Christmas FM co-founder Garvan Rigby told TheJournal.ie that the song’s lyrics “are of a different era.”

The song – which was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 – was originally recorded for the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter and went on to win a Best Original Song Oscar. 

In the song, most often performed as a duet, the male singer tries to persuade the female singer to stay and have another drink and spend the night:

“I’ve gotta get home (but baby, you’d freeze out there)

Say lend me a coat (it’s up to your knees out there).”

“Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there),”, sung by the woman, is arguably the song’s most controversial lyric.

‘It didn’t resonate with listeners’

According to the BBC, reporting on the Cleveland radio station’s decision to pull the song, “listeners said the song was inappropriate and at odds with the #MeToo movement.”

The #MeToo movement, which began in October 2017, has campaigned against sexual harassment and assault and started soon after the alleged sexual assault allegations were made against American film producer Harvey Weinstein. 

Glenn Anderson, a host at the Star 102 station in Cleveland, described the lyrics as “manipulative and wrong”. 

A poll on the station’s Facebook page, however, showed that a majority of those who responded did not want the song banned.

‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ has been performed by, among others, Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton as well as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Christmas FM’s Rigby has said that “although the song has been covered many times…we didn’t think this particular song resonated with our listeners, some of whom had voiced similar concerns.”

“It wasn’t a popular song with listeners so we made way for some new songs to the playlist.”

It’s not like Mariah Carey or Wham. It didn’t resonate with the listeners themselves.

Rigby has said that the station would be open to playing an updated or “more progressive” version of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, however, in the future. 

Christmas FM runs across the month of December. 

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