baby its cold outside

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is an Academy Award-winning popular song written by Frank Loesser in 1944, which gained wide recognition in 1949 when it was performed in the film Neptune's Daughter.
'The audience spoke, and we listened,' CBC said. Rogers is sticking by its decision not to play the 1944 Christmas classic this year

The "overwhelming" desire of CBC Music listeners to be able to hear Baby It's Cold Outside has prompted the public broadcaster to resume playing the song after a week's hiatus.

CBC had followed the lead of a number of Canadian and U.S. broadcasters by deciding last week to remove the 1944 Christmas classic from two playlists its programmers curated for the holiday season. At the time, a spokesperson said CBC had "no plans" to play Baby It's Cold Outside in the future in light of public condemnation of its lyrics.

CBC explained the reversal of course on Tuesday by saying it had only temporarily stopped playing the song - in which a male singer tries to convince a female visitor to stay at his home even as she repeatedly tells him she needs to leave - to consider opinions on both sides of the issue. Proponents of Baby It's Cold Outside think banning the song is an overreaction, given that its writer, Frank Loesser, viewed it as an endearing duet he could perform with his wife. Others say the song is about a woman searching for an excuse to stay rather than a celebration of date rape.

Head of public affairs Chuck Thompson said CBC Music programmers returned Baby It's Cold Outside to their network's holiday playlists after getting a significant amount of feedback from listeners, nearly all of whom opposed keeping the song sidelined.

"We heard from our audience in no uncertain terms," Thompson said. "Almost to a person they were asking us to reconsider."

A Cleveland radio station was the first to pull the tune from its airwaves in late November, citing listener concerns about the obstructive tactics the male vocalist employs to keep his female counterpart from departing into the wintry night.

"I ought to say, no, no, no sir," the woman says at one point in Marilyn Maxwell and Dean Martin's famous version of the song.

"Mind if I move in closer?" Martin replies.

Glenn Anderson, a host at Star 102 in Cleveland, acknowledged in a post on his station's website that Baby It's Cold Outside was written a long time ago, but said the male singer's behaviour, as reflected in the lyrics, "seems very manipulative and wrong" in today's context.

"The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place," Anderson wrote on Nov. 27.

Star 102's denunciation of the song caught traction in Canada, with Bell Media and Rogers Media, the country's two biggest commercial broadcasters, joining CBC in saying last week that they'd refrain from playing Baby It's Cold Outside on their respective music properties.

Rogers is sticking by that decision, a spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday. Bell didn't reply to a request for comment by deadline.

Thompson, meanwhile, said CBC understands some of its listeners won't like that the song has returned to holiday playlists, but noted that they'll have the option to skip past it on their devices.

"We're an audience-first organization," Thompson said. "The audience spoke, and we listened."

CBC wasn't alone in acceding to the wishes of its listeners by ending a moratorium on Baby It's Cold Outside this week.

KOIT, a large FM radio station in San Francisco, removed the song from its rotation on Dec. 3 to solicit reaction from the public through an online poll. Program director Brian Figula said the station reinstated Baby It's Cold Outside on Monday after 77 per cent of the poll's nearly 23,000 respondents said they wanted it back.

"People have opinions about everything, and they definitely have an opinion about Christmas music. It's the one thing people feel they have that we shouldn't mess with," Figula said. "It's something they grew up on. It's reminiscent of when life was easy and stress-free and they didn't have a worry."

Even though his station chose to side with the majority, Figula said a lesson he'll carry forward from the current debate is that critics of Baby It's Cold Outside deserve to be heard and taken seriously.

"With the Me Too movement, we need to be a little more sensitive to lyrics and content," he said.