No Means No, Dean Martin!

It’s Christmas time! And the only kind of Christmas music that I like is the kind that swings—you know, the old, classic, Big Band kind. I even have a Pandora station that plays THE BEST music. It’s awesome. (You can listen to it here if you like. You’re welcome.)

There’s only one teensy weensy problem—you can’t listen to any Christmas station without hearing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and that song has been ruined for me for all time. Why? Because my dear friend Cookie told me once that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” sounds a whole lot like date rape. Perfect. Ruined.

Dean Martin - Baby It's Cold Outside

No means no! Even for you, Dean-o.

At first, I thought, “That’s crazy!” but then I started listening to the lyrics. Even the description on Wikipedia sounds totally suspect:

The lyrics in this duet are designed to be heard as a conversation between two people, marked as “mouse” and “wolf” on the printed score. Every line in the song features a statement from the “mouse” followed by a response from the “wolf”. Usually the “wolf” part is sung by a male and the “mouse” by a female.

via Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

So, a lady mouse is being stalked by a dude wolf. No big deal. And the song starts off kinda friendly. She’s saying she has to go, and he’s just giving her some sensible weather information, and pointing out that he’s built a lovely fire to warm her hands by. What a gentleman. So then she says, “Oh, okay, I’ll stay for half a drink.”

Lady Mouse: I really can’t stay    Dude Wolf: But baby it’s cold outside
LM: I’ve got to go away                 DW: But baby it’s cold outside
LM: This evening has been          DW: Been hoping that you’d drop in
LM: So very nice                            DW: I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice
LM: My mother will start to worry   DW: Beautiful, what’s your hurry?
LM: And father will be pacing the floor   DW: Listen to the fireplace roar
LM: So really I’d better scurry    DW: Beautiful please don’t hurry
LM: Well maybe just a half a drink more    DW: Put some records on while I pour

“Yessssss…” he says to himself whilst rubbing his wolfy paws together. And a couple of lines later…

LM: Say what’s in this drink?

“Oh, it’s nothing,” says the wolf, “Just a little eggnog, with some nutmeg. And rufies. Your hair sure looks nice.”

Later on she says, “The answer is no,” and lists off all of her relatives and associates that will be calling her a floozy in the morning (including her “maiden’s aunt”, whose “mind is vicious”…kooky) to which he responds by incessantly complimenting her lips.  It doesn’t sound like she ever leaves. They just end the song with both of them singing “It’s cold outside!” and that’s it.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you ruin a perfectly good, campy, Christmas-time song.

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1 Comment

  1. Chrissy Corrao

     /  December 13, 2011

    For a really nice modern retro fabulous album I am spinning the She & Him Christmas Album…my new old favorite!

    Like this

    Reply

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