The new version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by John Legend officially dropped last Friday, and it’s interesting to say the least. The goal of this new version was to make it less suggestive of date-rape and more politically correct. Needless to say, the song missed the mark and is another example of the progressive agenda gone amuck.
The desire to change “Baby It’s Cold Outside” from the beginning was misguided at best. Last year, when there was an outcry about the song’s supposed “date-rapey” references, as Vanity Fair put it, the more level heads actually prevailed. The controversy actually helped the 1940s song make it to the top 10 of the Billboard charts. But John Legend wanted to put his own spin on the song, and it comes across more as an exercise of ego and political correctness than holiday joy.
When the news first came out that the song would be getting some updated lyrics, only a few choice phrases were released (you can read more about that in The Daily Citizen here). On Friday, Legend released the entire duet with Kelly Clarkson. Obviously, the lyric changes are awkward and often just an incoherent mess.
The song is supposed to remove any references to believed references to date-rape, but in the rewriting process the lyrics have somehow become more sexually suggestive. It’s a bit weird. Examples include, “Oh, we’re both adults, so who’s keepin’ score,” “It’s your body and your choice,” and “I’m a genie, tell me what your wish is.”
So, the song removes references that supposedly insinuate “date-rape” but pro-abortion material and suggestive lyrics are fine.
There’s also a section of the song that questions the decision of the young woman in the duet to continue living with her parents. The lyric goes, “(Clarkson) My daddy will be pacing the floor. (Legend) Wait, what are you still livin’ home for.” Legend should know that there are many young people living at home in order to save on housing expenses and to pay off student loans. There’s nothing wrong with that if done responsibly. My sister was able to stay home and save during her first year or two of teaching and was able to buy a house.
Perhaps the most confusing decision by Legend in this mess of a song is the continued reference to cigarettes and smoking. Clarkson sings, “But maybe just a cigarette more,” and Legend responds, “Oh, that’s somethin’ we should probably explore.” In this day and age, when tobacco use can determine the MPAA rating of a film and vaping is considered a threat to national health, why would Legend still include that reference?
When the song was originally written in the 1940s, Americans were not as aware of the dangers of tobacco use as we are now. I’ve had two family members die from lung cancer related to smoking, and I see no reason why the song shouldn’t be updated to remove or change that lyric. It makes sense and would be the more responsible approach, but the rush to make the song more politically correct results in Legend ignoring the most obvious problem.
It seems like that is what happens sometimes in the progressive and politically correct movement, where the rush to remove what is considered “offensive” misses the actual problem in the process. Instead of addressing the reference to smoking, which is a documented health hazard, Legend tackles the completely imagined problem that the song somehow encourages date-rape. Of course, Focus on the Family is completely against date-rape and believes that the crime is evil and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but the song’s original lyrics were written to encourage people to leave a housewarming party and nothing more.
The lesson that Legend should take to heart here is that it’s often never a good idea to mess with a classic. That seems to happen a lot as Hollywood gives classic and influential films, music and other pieces of intellectual property the progressive treatment (à la the new Star Wars). Legend should stop trying to push his progressive politics on Christmas songs and focus his attention on the reason for the season.
Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Leave the progressive agenda at home.