Last week several radio stations around the country pulled the holiday classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from their rotations, saying it wasn’t appropriate in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
I have been laughing for years with my friends about how creepy this song can sound. (No, really, dude, I can’t stay!)
But pulling it? Is that really necessary? It was written in 1944, and I think we are all smart enough to appreciate that it was a different time, with different social norms and conventions, and that no one is going to listen to it and suddenly decide to trap a woman inside a house against her will and spike her drink and sexually assault her.
And, really, if you think about the song in the context of partners who are happily together and just teasing each other, which I imagine was the intention, it’s not nearly as rapey sounding. It’s just that everyone thinks about Bill Cosby when they hear this song now. Which, I get it, it’s hard not to when singing, “Say what’s in this drink?” But it’s still just a song, so all of this is kind of ridiculous.
If we are going to start sanitizing the airwaves of every rock, country, rap or Christmas song for “appropriateness” or “potential to offend,” then Lord help us, we will soon just be listening to classical instrumental music — well, until someone decides there is a hidden meaning in that or it is revealed that the composer who wrote it in the 1800s was a perv by today’s standards.
I think most of us agree this “outrage” is all pretty dumb and mostly manufactured for the purpose of filling a few hours on the never-ending cable news cycle and/or to give the hosts of “The View” something to talk about.
But I am not sure why they have stopped at this tune. I mean, you could pretty much find something “offensive” in just about any Christmas song if you look hard enough.
So let’s give it a try, you know, for fun!
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
The classic 1964 movie of the same name garnered some criticism for this last week, so the song should get the same treatment. Clearly, the other reindeer (Dasher, Donner, and I hear Comet is the real a-hole in the bunch) are bullies to “poor Rudolph,” who they call names, laugh at and I hear they never even let him join in any reindeer games.
What a bunch of punks. Is this the kind of behavior we really want to teach our children?
In this classic made popular by Eartha Kitt in 1953, a female asks a man for a sable coat, a deed to a platinum mine (better be conflict free!), a ’54 convertible and decorations from Tiffany. We can be outraged over the materialism promoted in this or the fact a woman has to ask a man from the North Pole for all of this stuff. Or both! Binus!
Totally promotes animal cruelty by one horse hauling all those people “over the fields” (for how long?) as they are “laughing all the way.”
And “bells on bobtail ring”? Do you know what that’s all about? Well, let me tell you. That’s when they cut the poor horse’s tail in half so it won’t get caught in the reins. And then, to add insult to horse hair injury, they put bells on the poor thing’s butchered tail, which makes their “spirits bright!” What a bunch of psychopaths!
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
Everyone knows Santa is real, so this clearly promotes adultery. And the fact the kid plans to tell his father about his mother’s “tickling” and “kissing” of Santa “under his beard” — well, now, I guess we are teaching our kids it’s OK to be rats and betray your own blood!
“Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer”
This song is the most troubling of all when taken literally, as all Christmas songs definitely should be. It is alleging Santa committed sleigh-hicular homicide and has seemingly never been brought to justice. Furthermore, it shames the victim by saying Grandma had “too much eggnog” and “staggered out in the snow.” Shameful! She is not the one on trial here!
And it also seems to indicate Grandpa may have conspired with Santa in Grandma’s unfortunate demise, as he is not experiencing the grief one might expect from someone whose wife has been murdered in such fashion, as evidenced by the lyrics, “Now we’re all so proud of grandpa/He’s been taking this so well/See him in there watching football/Drinking beer with cousin Mel.”
Uh huh. This stinks, Grandpa!
I think we need to reopen this case and subpoena Grandpa’s phone records (any calls to the North Pole before the incident?), bank accounts and Google searches (“Can someone be killed by a sleigh?”). Lean on cousin Mel. He’ll crack like the egg that should have been going into Grandma’s nog.
“Same Old Lang Syne”
I am sure we can find something to get worked up about in this song. The writer and singer, Dan Fogelberg, seems to allege his “old lover” only married the architect she ended up with because she couldn’t have him. Classic male narcissistic personality disorder?
But what we really need to be offended by is just how bad the lyrics are to this one. For example: “Met my old lover in the grocery store/The snow was falling Christmas Eve/I stood behind her in the frozen foods/And I touched her on the sleeve.” Barf.
And it gets worse: “We took her groceries to the check-out stand/The food was totaled up and bagged/We stood there lost in our embarrassment/As the conversation lagged.”
Ugh. This song should definitely be taken off the airwaves at once for being so offensively awful.
Look, there are terrible things happening in this crazy world, no doubt, and I am certainly not trying to make light of those issues. I’m just saying let’s get offended by the actual atrocities that are occurring — not dumb Christmas songs.