Skip to main content

The Baby It's Cold Outside Controversy Has More People Buying The Song

Santa Clause is Coming to Town

There are certain Christmas carols that have become ubiquitous with the winter holiday season. One such song is "Baby, It's Cold Outside." The duet's lyrics were originally written by Frank Loesser in 1944, but it grew in popularity in 1949 when it was featured in Neptune's Daughter, where it later won the Oscar for Best Original Song. There's no denying its ongoing connections to the Christmas season. And even though it's more about the winter season than it's about the Christmas holiday, it has since been adopted as one of Christmas' most consistently-heard and consistently-sung jingles.

This Christmas, however, it hasn't gotten quite as much love. In fact, it has gained a bit of controversy by people who are looking over the lyrics and finding the material objectable, believing that the lyrics don't suggest consent when it comes to what is implied inside the well-known tune. It is an argument that has only gotten more heated as the weather gets colder. But as the chilly holiday season draws nearer, the continued controversy hasn't completely damaged the song's sales, according to reports who claim that it is being purchased and streamed more since the cultural reassessment.

According to Fox News, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is gaining more commercial interest since it has been debated about relentlessly in recent months, particularly with the #MeToo movement. Many listeners today believe the song provokes uncomfortable thoughts and a troubling message, which is why several radio stations have axed the single from their regular rotation, not wanting to offend to turn away any potential listeners to their stations.

Perhaps it's in retaliation to such concerns? Or maybe people just want to relisten to the song to refresh themselves to the lyrics and gain a stance in this contentious ongoing seasonal debate? Whatever the reason might be for the uptick in investment to the often-played Christmas single, the famous (and now rather infamous) winter song has been bought more than usual this year, despite the lack of radio play. The sales and streams appear to be related to the controversy. While the conversation has turned people away from hearing the song, it has also encouraged some to seek it out and buy it.

To be more precise, it appears that three particular versions of the often-heard song have gotten more attention and spins this year. Those covers of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" include Dean Martin's 1959 version, Lion Redbone and Zooey Deschanel's 2003 rendition, and Idina Menzel and Michael Buble's variation from 2014. Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor's 2016 cover of the song, meanwhile, has also been seeing a rise of streams this year.

The arguments will continue when it comes to "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and whether or not it deserves to be heard on rotation this time of the year. But it's clear that the ongoing controversy about the song hasn't hurt this commercial success -- at least when it comes to the song's sales and streams.

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.