Meaning of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a Christmas classic penned by American songwriter Frank Loesser. The lyrics focus entirely on a conversation being had between a man and a woman who is his romantic interest. The setting is the inside of the man’s home. For the most part, she is insisting that she has to return home. He however, is persistently trying to persuade her to stay. In fact he uses all the material possessions and cunning at his disposal. One of the main points of his argument is that she should not be hesitant to leave the house – and his company – since “it’s cold outside”.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Frank Loesser's Bellyache" by Billie Eilish at Lyrics.org.

In fact the entire second verse is based on him using a raging “blizzard” as his rationale that she should not to go. Ultimately the one thing they can agree on is that it is indeed “cold outside”.

But did the woman eventually leave the man’s home for hers?

The lyrics don’t make it clear whether the man eventually succeeded in convincing the woman to stay.

Lyrics of "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Since Loesser penned this classic in 1994, it has been covered by a wide array of singers. Some of these singers include Michael Bublé, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, Tom Jones and Ray Charles.

Who is Frank Loesser?

Frank Loesser was an American songwriter who lived between 1910 and 1969. Throughout his 59 years of existence on earth, he penned a number of popular Tin Pan Alley songs. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” became his most famous composition.

Frank Loesser

Frank Loesser

Throughout his career, Loesser won a number of prestigious awards, including a Grammy and multiple Tony Awards. In 1949, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” won him the first and only Academy Award of his life.

Facts about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

  • Loesser wrote both the lyrics and music for “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.
  • This tune wasn’t originally written as a Christmas song. Loesser initially wrote the song to be performed by himself and his wife (Lynn Garland) to perform at parties. However, it later became associated with Christmas because of its theme that centers on winter.
  • After the song gained popularity, MGM approached Loesser and offered to buy it from him. Owing to how juicy the offer was, Loesser wasted no time selling it to them. Loesser’s then wife Garland wasn’t pleased about the sale of the song. She reportedly stated she felt so betrayed by what Loesser did. She is said to have compared the betrayal to the feeling of catching him “in bed with another woman”.
  • The song won an Academy Award after MGM used it in the 1949 romantic comedy film Neptune’s Daughter.

American Radio Station stops playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

In 2018, a radio station (Star 102) in the United States removed this song from its holiday season playlist. Why? Because they received too many complaints from many listeners who felt it was not appropriate. These listeners wanted the song banned because they felt it wasn’t compatible with the #MeToo movement. According to them, the song’s lyrics promote harassment and violence against women. They cite the fact that in the song the man is refusing to respect the wishes of his female guest. Despite her insisting that she wants to go home, the man “forces” her to stay.

John Legend rewrites “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

In 2019 John Legend, along with American writer Natasha Rothwell, rewrote the lyrics of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to minimize the possibility of listeners being offended by the aggressive tone of the original.

10 Responses

  1. Byrdie says:

    This is Ludacris!!! It is a fun flirty song… if you don’t like it, don’t listen. Yes it’s suggestive, but my goodness.. everything is these days!

    • Janice P. says:

      Yes, there are much worse suggestive songs & literal offensive action verbs than used in this wonderful flirty song. And this song has been sung by BOTH Men & Women in musicals, movies, etc

  2. Kiley says:

    Bu**hurt people

  3. Beverly kinsey says:

    The lyrics are lovely. He doesn’t say ” Oh, baby I know it’s cold out there, but you gotta leave.”. That would be offensive.

  4. Simon says:

    It really sickness me to see songs like this band only because some people don’t like it. It is only a flirty song that has been ridiculed by people to ignorant to enjoy it. There are far worse songs on the radio these days that people say nothing about.

  5. Tony says:

    Politically correct is not always correct. Apply what is being done here an the BIBLE would be banned. Get real people listen learn your history in which the song was written an apply it together. You may learn something instead of condemning .

  6. Anonymous says:

    People need to stop reading into things so much.

  7. Jerry S says:

    I can’t find or hear anything in this song that is the slightest bit suggestive. Listen to just about any rap song and you’ll find what you’re apparently looking for! This song was written in a different age when all the guy here was trying to do is keep his lady friend from going out in the cold, and in a loving way. Jeeeez

  8. Shaking My Head says:

    Then I guess we need to ban the entire genre of rap music!
    For the 1950’s this was a very mild rated PG song.
    The ending is unknown if she stays or goes. This adult woman is more than capable of saying No & it’s offensive to the female community to think otherwise.
    Women back then had stronger boundary’s than today, hence her hesitation!
    Let’s compare the Music Awards shows & the Super Bowl halftime raunchiness. Don’t be a “Karen”.

  9. Erik Eden says:

    My father who in his teen years was a saxophonist with various bands in the 40’s new Loesser and said he was one of the most sincere, kindest of people which, I think, says much about this innocuous and excellent song. And then, all of a sudden in today’s world, sheeple who would never have thought of the song as anything but a clever, charming story now deem it as an example of sexual abusement (my word) or whatever…Jeez!

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