Home » Books in General » Baby, There’s a Chilling Effect Outside – Part 2

Baby, There’s a Chilling Effect Outside – Part 2

7 January 2019

Yesterday, PG posted an item from The Wall Street Journal titled, Baby, There’s a Chilling Effect Outside, that generated a lot of comments and discussion.

Here are the lyrics from the song:

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 aunts 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 pnuemonia and died)
I really can’t stay (get over that old out)
Baby, it’s cold
Baby, it’s cold outside
Songwriter: Frank Loesser
Baby, It’s Cold Outside lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

The song won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Here is the song as it appeared in the 1949 movie, Neptune’s Daughter:




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16 Comments to “Baby, There’s a Chilling Effect Outside – Part 2”

  1. I didn’t weigh in on the previous discussion but I can see why there’s some pressure to retire this song. No means No, and No needs to be respected. The entire premise of the song is that ‘No’ does not need to be treated with respect. Nowadays we teach young people to speak their minds, say what they mean and mean what they say. Google: “teaching about consent” for more information.

    I’m watching the clip. She puts on her coat and hat, and he keeps snatching them off. He sings “how can you do this thing to me.” Really? This is Ok?

    *I* don’t think so.

    • I’m with you. I get the context. I get that, as written, it actually had at least some semblance of female empowerment and fighting against restrictive societal norms. But 75 years later, the context in which it’s heard has changed and what was once perhaps whimsical sounds very different and to an awful lot of people pretty damn disturbing and creepy and predatory.

      You (generic “you”) don’t feel that way? Fine. No one’s saying it can’t be played at your home any ol’ time. Feel free to loop it in your earbuds 24-7/365. Freedom!

    • I think you are reviewing the performance rather than the lyric/song. The points you object to about the coat and hat, for example, are not in the lyric.

      “No means no” is a powerful – and necessary – slogan directed at sexually predatory men but also a naive representation of real life communication. The woman in the song is actually dithering, trying to persuade herself to leave by repeating all the reasons she’s been taught, because she knows that she’s expected to obey the rules even though she’s tempted to break them. The man’s role is to reinforce the temptation, for his own selfish ends of course.

      In fact, given the potential for social opprobrium and the primitive state of birth control and treatment for STDs when the song was written obeying the rules is probably the best choice. However, even if the song is advocating a bad choice I find the objections that it is creepy or predatory rather unbalanced an frankly weird. I’m not going to change the mind of anyone who thinks that way but see no reason why they should command the airwaves.

  2. Just curious, PG, what (about) did they charge so you could post the whole of the lyrics?
    Thanks for everything.

  3. Just curious, PG.
    How much (about) did it cost to publish the whole of the lyrics? I didn’t think fair use allowed the whole of the thing, but I’m as far from an expert as I can be.
    PS, first attempt vanished; no idea what I did wrong.

  4. This will be a multipart post. The hypocrisy of the PC crowd is all too useful and is going into my story folders.

    – The same people who are appalled by the “Rape Culture” while at University happily join their Father’s firm after graduation and join in the Tribal Games.

    First, if people have trouble with that fun movie, Neptune’s Daughter, what will they make of Jack Lemon in Under The Yum-Yum Tree. HA!

    Jack Lemmon ,Under the Yum Yum Tree Trailer (1963).

    When did it become a crime to be a successful Ladies Man. They are the heart of so many stories. How can people forget movies like, Goodbye Charlie, etc… How sad.

    Second, this is the commentary by the View about the song. Most telling.

    ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ Banned | The View

    Third, this is another classic soon to be banned. HA!

    Limeliters “Have Some Madera M’Dear” Lou Gottlieb live 1981

    ARTIST: Flanders and Swann
    TITLE: Have Some Madeira, M’Dear
    Lyrics and Chords

    She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice
    She was fair, she was sweet seventeen
    He was old, he was vile, and no stranger to vice
    He was base, he was bad, he was mean
    He had slyly inveigled her up to his flat
    To view his collection of stamps
    And he said as he hastened to put out the cat
    The wine, his cigar and the lamps

    / C – – – / – – G – / F – C Am / D – G – /
    / C – F – / Dm – G – / C F C Am / F – G – /

    Have some madeira, m’dear
    You really have nothing to fear
    I’m not trying to tempt you, that wouldn’t be right
    You shouldn’t drink spirits at this time of night
    Have some madeira, m’dear
    It’s really much nicer than beer
    I don’t care for sherry, one cannot drink stout
    And port is a wine I can well do without
    It’s simply a case of chacun a son gout
    Have some madeira, m’dear

    / C – – – / – – G – / F – C Am / D – G – / :
    / C F C Am / F G C – /

    Unaware of the wiles of the snake-in-the-grass
    And the fate of the maiden who topes
    She lowered her standards by raising her glass
    Her courage, her eyes and his hopes
    She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did
    He promptly refilled it again
    And he said as he secretly carved one more notch
    On the butt of his gold-headed cane

    Have some madeira, m’dear, I’ve got a small cask of it here
    And once it’s been opened, you know it won’t keep
    Do finish it up, it will help you to sleep
    Have some madeira, m’dear, it’s really an excellent year
    Now if it were gin, you’d be wrong to say yes
    The evil gin does would be hard to assess
    Besides it’s inclined to affect me prowess
    Have some madeira, m’dear

    Then there flashed through her mind what her mother had said
    With her antepenultimate breath
    “Oh my child, should you look on the wine that is red
    Be prepared for a fate worse than death”
    She let go her glass with a shrill little cry
    Crash! tinkle! it fell to the floor
    When he asked, “What in Heaven?” she made no reply
    Up her mind, and a dash for the door

    Have some madeira, m’dear, rang out down the hall loud and clear
    A tremulous cry that was filled with despair
    As she paused to take breath in the cool midnight air
    Have some madeira, m’dear, the words seemed to ring in her ear
    Until the next morning, she woke up in bed
    With a smile on her lips and an ache in her head
    And a voice in her ear ‘ole that tickled and said
    Have some madeira, m’dear

  5. Yep, should definitely be banned, just like heavy metal music (it turns people into satan worshippers) and video games (turn people into school shooters) and explicit lyrics (can’t remember what they do, I’ll have to ask Al Gore’s wife).

    Reminds me of a favorite song:
    Fascists to the left of me, fascists to the right
    Here I am
    Stuck in the middle with you
    (or something like that)

    /sarcasm off

    It’s amazing how the politically correct moral majority always find the line between reality and fiction so slippery. How unstable are you to think that this seventy-year-old duet is going to make people rapey? No wonder comedians are a dying breed. Imagine trying to make a living saying things that might be shocking or offensive. That’s tantamount to homicide these days.

    When I was younger, I thought our dark Orwellian future would come at the hands of conservatives. How naive I was…

    • Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right
      Here I am —
      Stuck in the middle with you

      Great song!


    • When I was younger, I thought our dark Orwellian future would come at the hands of conservatives.

      Don’t worry, I thought the same thing when I was younger. Not that it couldn’t happen with the extremists of that ilk – but at least they are easier to combat. Conservatives are far more consistent than Leftists – you never know what the Left will hate on next, or jump down your throat for daring to criticize (often functionally or literally the exact same thing).

    • Well, those modern comedians had better hope they don’t go to jail. Some of that “edgy” humor (*cough*James Gunn*cough*) could get then ended within days.

      Turns out prison communities have tighter standards than Hollywood.

  6. A classicist! Never thought to find “antepenultimate” inside a poem, rather than describing part of one.

    (“next to (before the) next to last”, if you’re wondering… In reference to where the stress falls on which syllable in a line of verse.)

  7. Baby, it’s Khan outside. He’ll chase her round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition’s flames before he gives her up to the cold outside.

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