With Halloween over, Christmas is being fast-tracked well before Americans get to express their gratitude at Thanksgiving.
With the winter holiday decor already festooning shopping centers, pop artists are releasing their renditions of favorite Christmas songs.
Recently, Kelly Clarkson and fellow The Voice coach John Legend lent their pipes for the flirtatious-bordering-on-coercive holiday classic, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," with a more consent-friendly take.
Unfortunately, the latest cover is getting a chilly reception from some listeners.
The Frank Loesser tune associated with the winter season first debuted in 1944 but didn't gain popularity until it was featured in the 1949 musical romantic comedy film, Neptune's Daughter.
The Academy Award-winning duet is performed in call and response fashion between the host, known as "the wolf" and his guest, "the mouse."
The wolf wants their romantic evening to continue, but the mouse says no. After additional pressure, the mouse raises concerns about what the family and neighbors would think and keeps saying no.
But the wolf keeps trying to get the mouse to drink more—prompting the mouse to ask what's in the beverage—and spend the night with him despite her repeated objections.
The song definitely comes from an era when "no" meant give her more alcohol and keep trying to change her mind.
John Legend Drops Updated Version of 'Baby It's Cold Outside' with Kelly Clarkson https://t.co/I2MWLaGXfJ— People (@People) 1573194205.0
The song's lyrics raised objections recently with people identifying the song's obvious coersion, disregard for consent and nod to date-rape with the references to a spiked drink. When sexual assault survivors said the song was unsettling for them, some radio stations made the decision to pull it from rotation.
Leading the "everyone but me is a snowflake" brigade to pitch fits about not getting to hear a song on a privately owned radio station even though they're able to purchase and play the song as often as they want on their phone, in their car, at home....
Legend decided to modernize the lyrics for the song with Natasha Rothwell. It will be included in his upcoming holiday album: A Legendary Christmas: The Deluxe Edition.
Here is a clip of the new "Baby, It's Cold Outside" which features Kelly Clarkson.
John Legend - Baby, It's Cold Outside (Official Audio) ft. Kelly Clarkson youtu.be
Excerpts from the new "Baby, It's Cold Outside" now include:
"I really can't stay (Baby, it's cold outside)"
"I've gotta go away (I can call you a ride)"
"This evening has been (So glad that you dropped in)"
"So very nice (Time spent with you is paradise)"
"My mother will start to worry (I'll call a car and tell 'em to hurry)"
According to a new Vanity Fair cover story written by Karen Valby, additional lyrics include:
"What will my friends think..."
"I think they should rejoice."
"... if I have one more drink?"
"It's your body, and your choice."
But the updated take on the perennial classic produced an unintended effect—one that led listeners to believe the host wanted to get rid of his guest.
Sharon Osbourne had strong opinions on the family-friendly version during a segment on Monday's The Talk.
In all deference to Legend, the 67-year-old TV personality shot down his new take on the song:
"To change an innocent lyric, to what is it, 'Your mind and your body?' What the hell are you on? That's ridiculous."
"I have to tell you, I love John Legend. I love John Legend's wife, his family. He's an amazing artist that I really respect. Why do you do this? That's not right."
.@MrsSOsbourne sounds off on John Legend and Kelly Clarkson releasing a new version of Dean Martin’s 1953 hit “Baby… https://t.co/S3HUKCzW3k— The Talk (@The Talk) 1572907894.0
@TheTalkCBS @MrsSOsbourne I TOTALLY agree with you @MrsSOsbourne some songs you just don't touch— Frankie williams (@Frankie williams) 1572908257.0
While some completely missed the irony of proclaiming 'don't like it, don't listen.'
Deana Martin—whose father, Dean Martin, sang in a popular 1959 recording of the song—also slammed Legend's updating of the song's lyrics.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain, Martin said:
"He's stealing the thunder from (original 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."
"He should write his own song if he doesn't like this one, but don't change the lyrics. It's a classic, perfect son… https://t.co/fqBD8RJPos— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY) 1572915480.0
@USATODAY I --AGREE w/ Deana Martin----bout the re-write of --Baby its cold outside--& besides--some of "his" Lyrics are corny & absurd !!— Jimmie Cantrell (@Jimmie Cantrell) 1572919364.0
But there were fans who appreciated the rewrite.
@kellyclarkson @johnlegend It’s so beautiful! I like both versions that you have recorded. I love the texting refe… https://t.co/YGyHHkmCag— Marlene (@Marlene) 1573304463.0
They praised Legend for his effort to reinvent the song for those seemingly unamused by the old stereotype of a man continuing to pressure a woman—or anyone—who says no.
Clarkson weighed in on the people having fits because someone decided to make a modern version of the song referencing things like texting.
There’s that loving Christmas spirit peeking its head through 🤣💁🏼♀️👍 #MerryChristmas #MaybeItsColdInside 👀 https://t.co/liQzK6FCeM— Kelly Clarkson (@Kelly Clarkson) 1573340531.0
While the two voices together sound undoubtedly stellar, the song continues to put a wedge between two different camps of listeners: one that approves and another that is agitated.
@people Some Kind Of Miracle!— hellokittyhellokitty77 (@hellokittyhellokitty77) 1573194688.0
@people Nope. The older version is just fine. 👍🏼— Debbie Wiltse (@Debbie Wiltse) 1573222318.0
@people What’s with all the hate???— Katie Chabin (@Katie Chabin) 1573194514.0
Those who were neutral appreciated the new cover.
@people It’s gorgeous. People are gonna bitch one way or the other, I’m glad that they didn’t let that stop them fr… https://t.co/SWm6MxO87M— Kyle Jackson (@Kyle Jackson) 1573221310.0
@johnlegend @kellyclarkson @natasharothwell I had no issue with the original lyrics myself but your version is abso… https://t.co/5ywuAqOsAE— Jesse Roth (@Jesse Roth) 1573232953.0
In response to the negative comments, journalist Yashar Ali cleared the air by saying Legend wasn't forcing anyone to listen to his version.
FYI, John Legend is not holding people captive and forcing them to listen to the new version. He’s also not going a… https://t.co/3Ps6v8QYXP— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1573241112.0
And that is when Legend's wife, and social media queen Chrissy Teigen, weighed in on the nonsense by responding to Ali's tweet with her trademark sarcasm.
Yashar you’re wrong here. I watched he and Kelly physically burn all original versions in our backyard. It was craz… https://t.co/GaIWM3IsMO— chrissy teigen (@chrissy teigen) 1573242992.0
Brrr, it really is cold out there, and the forecast remains shady.