Are the lyrics to a classic holiday song fun and flirty, or are they hiding something sinister?

Are the lyrics to a classic holiday song fun and flirty, or are they hiding something sinister?

The Editor’s Desk: A not so sweet song?

Is there a sinister meaning behind a popular holiday song?

Have you noticed that Radio NL in Kamloops is playing nothing but Christmas music between now and December 25? I certainly have.

How do you feel about this? I have a pretty high tolerance for Christmas music, so I should be good; but ask me again on December 25. They kicked off just after midnight on December 1 with Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was a solid start.

I heard a song on there the other day that kind of bothered me, especially with all this sexual harassment stuff going on. Let me guess: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.

How did you know? Considering that some people refer to it as “the date rape song”, it wasn’t too difficult.

So: is it a date rape song? Its composer, Frank Loesser, would probably say no; he wrote it in 1944 as a duet for him and his wife, Lynn Garland, and it was phenomenally popular.

What about you? Hang on, let’s give a brief synopsis for those who don’t know the song. In it, a man has invited a woman back to his house after a date. He’s obviously attracted to her, and would like her to stay for the night, and keeps coming up with reasons why she shouldn’t go (the weather is bad, the snow is deep, there are no cabs, etc.), while she gives all the reasons why she should (her parents will worry, her sister will be suspicious, people will talk, etc.).

So what do you think? No, it’s not a date rape song.

But he keeps refusing to take no for an answer! And she keeps refusing to go. Look, he hasn’t bolted the door; she can leave anytime she wants, and chooses not to.

What about when she asks “Say, what’s in this drink?” Sounds like he’s put something in there. Apart from the fact that date rape drugs weren’t a thing in 1944, to me it sounds more like the drink is stronger than she expected. Also, at the time, blaming the strength of one’s drink when one was about to do something that might be frowned on was pretty common, especially for women.

What do you mean? He’s obviously attracted to her, and would like her to stay the night (hint: he doesn’t want to play gin rummy). The fact that she doesn’t leave means she’s attracted to him as well, and would like to stay the night (again, not to play card games). To me, the crucial lines are when she says “I ought to say no, no, sir / At least I’m gonna say that I tried.” She knows what she wants, and also knows that in the society in which she lives (America in 1944), an unmarried woman who not only admitted to being sexually attracted to a man, but also acted on that feeling, would face a good deal of condemnation. So to me, the song is really about a woman deciding what she wants and then deciding to go for it, even though she’ll face criticism.

Wow. That’s certainly an interesting take. To me it’s a fun, flirty song that needs to be looked at in the context of when it was written and what social mores of the time were.

Thanks for that. Next week, can we discuss the consumerism implied in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”? Let’s not and say we did.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read