ICYMI: The Problem with ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

The Arctic air and the bomb cyclone that followed on its heels have buried campus, the Brunswick area, and much of the region in a frozen tundra.

A staple among Christmas songs, though not about the holiday at all, has gotten a rather icy reception itself given the climate across the country regarding sexual harassment.

Myriad versions of the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” played as part of a marathon broadcast Christmas Eve on Brunswick radio station WCME.

In an editorial, The Times Record considers the lyrics of the song—and the local station’s decision to air it repeatedly—with observations from Assistant Professor of Music Tracy McMullen, whose research and teaching, including her course, Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Music, examine such matters. Read “When the Song Doesn’t Remain the Same.”

2 thoughts on “ICYMI: The Problem with ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

  1. Dale Tomlinson '70

    I agree with Jim Bleikamp. Anyone who has a problem with this song — or innumerable others since then — can simply switch stations or turn off the media device: radio, phone, computer, Alexa, etc. We all have free will.
    Oh, and speaking of sexist, how come Alexa, Siri, etc., all have female voices? Is it because they are appealing? “Sexy”? Or because a man can command the device and it obeys? Yet women still buy these things. (I don’t own any, and have no need of them.)
    As a musician, I have preferences and decide what I like to listen to, and older music usually brings back other memories, which is what makes it enjoyable. I don’t take instruction from song lyrics, and no one with any intelligence would do so, in my opinion. I would really hope that Bowdoin’s academic environment can find more critical issues on which to expend resources.

  2. Fred Myer '60

    “Culturally trained”. Loesser’s “coded lyrics”? Give me a break. Too bad “PC” term has been contaminated by one who has no clue…A nice song… Leave it alone…

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