Monday, December 19, 2011

Baby it's Cold Outside: a Sex Crime Set to Music

Every once in a while you come across a song that sounds…really…“rapey.”  I guess.  The lyrics to the Toadies “Possum Kingdom” come to mind.  But for some reason I don’t mind the song.  I quite like it, actually.  Maybe it’s because the harsh nature of the acts suggested are at least slightly mitigated by the fact that the character in Possum Kingdom seems mentally ill, and he just can’t help it.  Or maybe the song just rocks because, regardless of the lyrics, the musical components are so gnarly.  Either way, Possum Kingdom gets a pass in my book.

But just about every time the “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” song comes on the radio, I cringe.  I cringe at the impending legal ramifications of the romantic (?) transaction that takes place between the characters singing.  I know it is a hypothetical situation.  I know the characters in the song aren’t real.  But still – the song is downright disturbing.  Unlike the situation in Possum Kingdom, the character in Baby, it’s Cold Outside doesn’t seem mentally ill.  He just comes off like a date rapist.  See for yourself.  The following is a transcription of the lyrics I hastily copied and pasted from an unreputable internet site:

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 worry
(beautiful whats 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 faint
(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)

both:baby it's cold out side

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 droped in)
so nice and warm
(look out the window at that storm)
my sister will be suspicious
(gosh your lips look delcious)
my brother will be there at the door
(waves upon the tropical shore)
my maiden aunts mind is vicious
(gosh your lips are delicous)
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 namonia and died)
i really can't stay
(get over that old out)

both: baby it's cold
baby it's cold outside 

Alright, let’s all ignore the preceding misspelled words and get down to the point.  What sex crimes (under the Kentucky Revised Statutes) are evidenced by the lyrics in “Baby, it’s Cold Outside?”

Our analysis will begin with the first verse, particularly with the suggestion that the male (hereinafter, “Nick”) character is attempting to drug the woman (hereinafter, “Blossom”).  Presumably, Blossom gets some sort of indication that the drink Nick gave her contains some foreign substance.  Baby it’s Cold Outside, Chistmas Episode, Nick and Blossom, vrs. 1 ln. 19 (NBC 1993). 

We aren’t sure why Blossom has the indication that the drink may be drugged.  She just asks, "what's in this drink?"  It may be because the drink tastes funny, or possibly because she begins to feel the effects of involuntary intoxication.  Regardless, it certainly seems as if Nick drugged Blossom. Id.  

Later in the first verse, Blossom waivers on what we can only assume is the decision to engage in some sort of sexual act with Nick.  She says “I ought to say No, No, No sir…at least I’m gonna say that I tried.” Id at vrs. 1 ln. 25.  These statements are evidence of consent, but coupled with a preconceived plan to mislead others  (after the sexual act) into believing the sexual act was nonconsensual.  Which certainly helps Nick’s rape case.

But regardless of her wavering, Blossom seems to make a firm and verbalized decision that she does not intend to engage in any sort of getting down. Id. at vrs. 2, ln. 3.  At this point, the business is off the table.  

With that in mind, any subsequent sexual activity can only be determined to be nonconsensual, absent some statement or actions to the contrary.  

In my opinionation*, if Nick made sexual advances after this song, he would have some serious legal concerns.  Depending on what kind of conduct takes place, Nick could be looking at charges including but not limited to Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, and Unlawful Transaction With a Minor (assuming Blossom is over 16 but under 18 years old).  Not to mention any sort of incest charges which may be brought, because Nick was Blossom’s FATHER.  (In my best Joey Lawrence voice) Whoa!

This year when you're standing under the mistletoe and "Baby it's Cold Outside" starts playing on the radio, make sure and let everyone know about all of the criminal conduct the song implicates.

Happy Holidays!

Questions answered in this blog post:  Why is the song "Baby it's Cold Outside" so creepy; would the actions in Baby it's Cold Outside be a sex crime or rape; how does Greg Simms have time to write these blog posts and still be at the top of his game for trial purposes (not actually answered in this post); which is creepier, Possum Kingdom or Baby it's Cold Outside?

*Who saw that coming?  Anyone?


  1. I've always thought that song was just plain creepy, too!

  2. Most epic Free in Kentucky blog post ever. LAB.

  3. I'm glad you agree, Sarah.

    And JK, thank you for the kind words. If you continue to read it, I will continue to write it, Like a Boss.

  4. I think it's worthwhile to remember a few contextual details:

    The song was written by songwriter Frank Loesser, and was intended to be sung as a duet with his wife at house parties.

    The song was written in 1944, a time when women playing 'hard to get' was part of the normal social convention.

    Rohypnol didn't exist in 1944, so a drugged drink seems unlikely. I think that particular line could be paraphrased, "Damn, you make a strong cocktail." (Consider also that the phrase "What's in this drink?" is/was often used as a dodge, blaming alcohol for something one really wanted to do in the first place.)

    And while we're looking at lyrics, don't forget the song structure! The choruses are sung in harmony, with both the male and female voices in musical and textual agreement. We're left with the impression that they are both doing what they wanted to do, even though they feared doing it because of family repercussions.

    To a modern ear, I certainly see how the song seems creepy, an impression which is not helped by many less-than-ideal covers. But I contend that the original version was written as a love song.

  5. This blog is for entertainment purposes.

  6. LOL I never saw the song quite this way. #taintedforlife LOL