John Legend’s Rewrite of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Sparks Lively Conversation

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John Legend changes lyrics to baby it's cold outside
Photo by O'Connor/AFF-USA.com

There are, indeed, two sides to every story and John Legend is hearing both of them with his rewrite of the seasonal standard, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

The classic song, often tied to the holiday season, has been popularly recorded by everyone from Dean Martin to Brett Eldredge and Meghan Trainor, has long garnered attention for lyrics that suggest that while the female in the song is trying to leave her male friend’s home, he’s gently doing what he can to entice her to stay. More recently, in the face of the #MeToo movement, the song has faced harsher criticism, even being banned from some radio stations.

[RELATED: John Legend Prepares to Share His Faith Through Music With New Song “Preach” [Listen]]

Now, John has presented an alternative lyric to the original that changes the outcome of the song to put consent back into the female’s hands, in this case, his duet partner, Kelly Clarkson. For example, the original song says:

“I ought to say no, no, no (Mind if I move in closer) / At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the use in hurtin’ my pride) / I really can’t stay (Oh baby, don’t hold out) / But baby, it’s cold outside.”

Changing up the call and response, his version of the song says:

I ought to say no, no, no sir (Then you really ought to go, go, go) / At least I’m gonna say that I tried (Well Murray just pulled up outside) / I really can’t stay (I understand, baby) / Baby, it’s cold outside.”

(FYI – “Murray” is the driver of the car that the man calls to drive his guest home)

Traditionalists, including Deana Martin, the daughter of Dean Martin, are not supporting the rewrite. According to Good Morning America, Deana has said, ”You do not change the lyrics to the song. I think what he’s done is, he’s stealing the thunder from [composer] Frank Loesser’s song and from my dad. He should write his own song if he doesn’t like this one, but don’t
change the lyrics. It’s a classic, perfect song.”