Kentucky Radio Station Starts Playing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ on Repeat Amid Backlash

By Zachary Stieber

A Kentucky radio station started playing the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” after some complaints about the song prompted several radio stations to pledge never to play it again.

WAKY in Elizabethtown took the opposite tack to those stations.

Instead, the radio station set aside two hours over the weekend and played the song continuously.

“WE LOVE THE SONG! Tomorrow (Sunday) morning beginning at 8 a.m., WAKY will play “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” continuously until 10 a.m.,” the station said in a Facebook post on the night of Dec. 15.

In another post on Sunday morning, the station added: “BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! We like it and we’re not afraid to play it on WAKY for the next couple of hours!”

The controversy over the song didn’t make sense to Joe Fredele, director of programming for WAKY.

“I’m not sure why it’s controversial,” he told WLKY. “We’ve played this song for years, you know, this song is older than WAKY is. It’s almost 70 years old.”

He said the complaints about its alleged sexually charged lyrics were misguided.

“This song is not about that. All it is is a dialogue between a man and a woman, and at the end of the song, you hear them harmonize together, so they’re agreeing basically,” Fredele explained.

The station played five versions of the song over the two hours. A version of the song is played in the YouTube video embedded below, from the 1949 romantic comedy, and musical, film “Neptune’s Daughter.”

Culture War Battle

The song sparked a clash, the latest in the so-called culture war, as some groups of people try to re-examine a wide swath of popular music, literature, and other categories of expression using reasoning anchored in some of today’s beliefs.

The act has increasingly led to attempted bans on certain books, music, statues, and other things.

Some people interpreted the lyrics from “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as manipulative, critics said.

“When the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” wrote Glenn Anderson, a host on WDOK Christmas 102.1, explaining why the station banned the song.

“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.”

He claimed that listeners propelled the change but a poll later found that over 90 percent of the station’s listeners disagreed with the decision.

A number of other stations have since followed suit, although one station, San Francisco’s KOIT, brought it back after an overwhelming number of listeners responded negatively to the ban.

The song is a duet featuring a woman saying she will leave a man’s house as he implores her to stay (although in some performances the roles are switched).

Daughter of Dean Martin Deana Martin
Singer Deana Martin at The Players Club in New York City on Nov. 12, 2008. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Originally Penned as Couple’s Song

The most popular version of the song, written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, is Dean Martin’s version, from his 1959 album “A Winter Romance.”

His daughter Deana Martin described the song as “cute, flirtatious, and romantic.”

The song was originally written by Loesser as a duet to be performed with his wife, according to his daughter Susan Loesser.

In her biography, ‘A Most Remarkable Fella’ she describes the first time they performed it to friends: “Well the room just fell apart [my mother remembered]. I don’t think either of us realized the impact of what we’d sung. We had to do it over and over again and we became instant parlor room starts. We got invited to all the best parties for years on the basis of ‘Baby.’”

Susan Loesser, now 74, told NBC:  “Way before #MeToo, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since [Bill] Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”

Loesser said her father would have been furious at the radio stations banning the song.

Full Lyrics Below

I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)
This evening has been (been hoping that you’d drop in)
So very nice (I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)
My mother will start to worry (beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I’d better scurry (beautiful please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (put some records on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (baby, it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (oh baby don’t hold out)
But baby, it’s cold outside
I simply must go (but baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (but baby, it’s cold outside)
Your welcome has been(how lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (look out the window at this dawn)
My sister will be suspicious (gosh your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door (waves upon the tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (gosh your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more (never such a blizzard before)
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)
You’ve really been grand (i thrill when you touch my hand)
But don’t you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pneumonia and died)
I really can’t stay (get over that old out)
Baby, it’s cold
Baby, it’s cold outside

Epoch Times writer Simon Veazey contributed to this report