'Baby, It’s Cold Outside' cover with updated lyrics gets 30+ million views amid controversy

Manuela Cardiga
Dec 12, 2018
04:02 A.M.

A Christmas classic has been rehashed for the #MeToo generation and it's hilarious.


The 1942 classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been under fire in the light of the #MeToo movement's campaign to raise awareness of sexually inappropriate behavior.

The song features a duet between a man and a woman, and the tone is distinctly predatory and coercive, but now a new version has been recorded and posted on Facebook/ Holderness Family where it has garnered over 46 million views.

Source:  Facebook/ Holderness Family

Source: Facebook/ Holderness Family

“The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”

Glenn Anderson, WDOK, Huffington Post, December 10, 2018.



The Holderness Family, who has created and posted several viral musical videos was inspired when Radio station WDOK banned the song for its predatory tone. Several other stations quickly followed, dubbing the song as "inappropriate."

The Holderness version has new lyrics, maintaining the female lines, and updating the male response. In a complete departure from the original in which a man pressures a woman to stay when she has indicated she wants to leave, the new lyrics have the man encouraging the woman to leave whenever she wants to, and that he understands that“no means no.”

Source:  Facebook/ Holderness Family

Source: Facebook/ Holderness Family



The original song is an unlikely classic holiday song, with the theme being a man pressuring a woman to "stay." There is even a hint that the woman has been drugged, with her asking the man “say, what’s in this drink?”

“When the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong.”

Glenn Anderson, WDOK

MGM used the song "Baby It'S Cold Outside" in the 1949 Esther Williams vehicle “Neptune’s Daughter,” and it won the Academy Award for best original song.



Although tongue-in-cheek, the new lyrics clearly define the boundaries between coercion and an understanding of consent.

The new-found awareness stems from the founding of an awareness movement, #MeToo, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein case. Weinstein was a powerful Hollywood producer who used his position to target young actress for sexual abuse.

In the aftermath of the scandal, many top actresses came forward with their own stories of being victims of sexual misconduct and changed the Hollywood power structure.



The controversial “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was written in 1944 by the renowned composer of “Guys and Dolls,” Frank Loesser, as a duet to be sung by himself and his wife.

Loesser constructed the duet as a musical duel between the predatory "wolf" and the timid "mouse." to perform at dinner parties, he labeled the two vocal parts “mouse” and “wolf.”

Loesser and his wife Lynn Garland would often sing the song as a farewell to gusts after a party, with Garland as the “mouse,” and Loesser playing the “wolf.” In 1948 Garland and Loesser divorced, and he sold the song’s rights to MGM.

MGM used the song "Baby It'S Cold Outside" in the 1949 Esther Williams vehicle “Neptune’s Daughter,” and it won the Academy Award for best original song.

Curiously, the first commercial recording features movie star Esther Williams as the mouse, and Ricardo Montalbán, as the wolf; but halfway through the song, the scene switches to a second couple, Betty Garrett and Red Skelton. Garrett sings the rest of the song as the predatory wolf, to Red Skelton’s timid mouse.mouse.

In a related story, Mariah Carey shared a video on Instagram which showed her children singing backup vocals for her hit song, "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

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