Am I the Only One Who Thinks This Christmas Song is Rapey?

How is it in the 40-plus years I've been listening to Christmas music, I've never actually listened to it?

Let me explain: It was Black Friday. My mother and I were out and about maxing out our credit cards and throwing elbows for seven dollar waffle irons. After several hours of shopping, my mom faded and dropped out to go home to bed. Wussy.

I still had one more stop to make. The worst one of the night -- Kohl's. Gomer had his heart set on giving Hubs a pair of slippers he saw in the flyer and I agreed to go and wait on line (or is in line??) because I am a gem.

I dropped off my mom and headed to Kohl's. The line was ridiculous, but I grabbed the slippers (and a ton of other things, because if I was going to wait on line I'd better make it worth it) and found the end of the line. By now it was close to 10 p.m. and I was zoning out a bit. I didn't have anyone to talk to and my phone didn't have enough life left for me to play Candy Crush while I waited. So, I focused on the Christmas music blaring over the speakers. I hummed along to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I bopped to Jingle Bell Rock, and I got a little teary when that Christmas Shoes song came on. I was shuffling along in the line and starting to lose interest in the music when I heard a line blaring over the loud speaker that made me snap to attention.

"Did that woman just ask what's in her drink?" I asked the man behind me.

"What? Huh?" he asked. He was as bleary-eyed as I was and had no idea what I was talking about.

"The song that's on right now. Did she say 'hey, what's in this drink?'"

"Oh, yeah, I don't know. Sorry."

I listened closer. It was Baby, It's Cold Outside. I've heard the song hundreds of times, but I've never paid close attention to the lyrics other than "Baby, it's cold outside."

"There! She just said 'I ought to say no, no, no' and then he said something about hurting his pride?"

"Um, OK," the man said, clearly wishing he'd picked another line to stand on.

"Am I the only one who thinks this song is rapey?" I asked the strangers around me. Everyone took one giant step back.

"Come on ... He puts something in her drink, she keeps saying no, he's super smarmy and talks about his pride being hurt because she rejects him ..."

They all stared at me.

"Seriously. No one else thinks it's rapey?" I asked.

"It's a Christmas song," someone finally said, as if that made it better.

No. That makes it worse! This is a Christmas song that we play on an endless loop for months. But let's take a look at the words:

The woman has the first line and then it's the man next.

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

She's ready to go, but he is trying to convince her to stay. Her hands are like ice, because the guy's a creeper and she's being held hostage.

My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry?
Father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
Maybe just a half a drink more - Put some records on while I pour

She knows her parents will worry where she is, but he doesn't give a shit. He tells her to put on some records while he roofies her drink.

The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink? - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell

Now she's worried about the neighbors. She knows he's up to no good and she needs to get going. Her Spidey Senses are tingling, but they're dull. She's not sure why. She thinks she's under a love spell, but really he's just getting her drunk and wearing her down and taking off her clothes. OK, it was just a hat, but still, I'm pretty sure her panties are next.

I ought to say no, no, no - Mind if I move in closer?

No means no, asshole. Back off.

At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense of hurting my pride?

Screw your pride.

I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out

Ah, baby, it's cold outside

I simply must go - But, baby, it's cold outside
The answer is no - But, baby, it's cold outside
This welcome has been - How lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm - Look out the window at that storm!

She said "no" again, you smarmy douchebag.

My sister will be suspicious - Gosh your lips look delicious!
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden Aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh, your lips are delicious.
Well, maybe just a cigarette more - Never such a blizzard before

I'm sure she's thinking, "Maybe if put a cigarette in my mouth it will keep his tongue out of there."

I've got to get home - But, baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me a coat - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - I thrill when you touch my hand
But don't you see? - How can you do this thing to me?

He laments "How can you do this thing to me?" I'm assuming he means blue balls. 

There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Think of my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that old doubt

Ah, but it's cold outside
Oh, baby, it's cold outside
Oh, baby, it's cold outside

Yeah, I think "Think of my life long sorrow" + "Get over that old doubt" =  Totally rapey Christmas song.  

What else are we singing about at Christmas time? I need to start paying closer attention to lyrics!

I knew that Santa was always watching us when we sleep. I thought that was bad enough, until I got to thinking, which head did the children put Frosty's hat upon to make him come alive and what exactly were the reindeer games that Rudolph was never allowed to play?

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ecodrew said...

Haha, glad I'm not the only jaded one... I heard the line in Winter Wonderland - "Are you married we'll say no man, but you can do the job while you're in town"... I thought it was about cheating, till i looked it up and found out it's about a visiting preacher marrying an engaged couple - haha!

Sue said...

I posted on FB about this exact thing last year! There are a lot of older songs that would be considered questionable now. I was recently listening to "It Had to be You" and was absentmindedly singing along until I heard myself say, "Some others I've seen, might never be mean, might never be cross, or try to be boss, but they wouldn't do." Um... battered woman syndrome anyone??

Unknown said...

Very sad that a man trying to convince a ladyfriend to stay over is construed as rape. WTF is wrong with you people?

Splash90 said...

Here I present to you... the very best Christmas internet video ever made. The creepiness of that song is discussed!

Splash90 said...

He's "convincing" her by ignoring her repeated "no's," getting her drunk (and perhaps with something else in her drink) etc.? The real question is what is wrong with YOU... We are in the 21st century. Might want to jump into your time machine and join us.

Anonymous said...

My brother and I had this discussion last year. It's from a 1949 musical called Neptune's Daughter (surprisingly available on Netflix). It a bit less rapey if you see it in context from the movie:

Richardo Montalban is plays a douchbag playboy that Esther Williams is trying to keep her sister from...while her sister, Betty Garrett is busy chasing Red Skelton. So the clip is two versions of the same song. One with RM and EW, the other with BG and RS. It being 1949 and a Rom-Com, both couples end up together in blissful happiness.

Unknown said...

I assumed some sort of sex act was required in order to call it rape, but I guess I am behind the times.

Drink = Rape. Got it.
Trying to change some ones mind = Rape. Got it.

So when a lawyer convinces a jury, did he RAPE them?
When a woman batts her eyes at a cop to get out of a speeding ticket, did she Rape him?
Did the winning debate team RAPE the judges?

You are insane.

Leann said...

Splash90 - She's not saying "no". The lyrics are "I ought to say no, no, no".
The woman wants to stay but it worried about what others will think (hence the lines about her mom, dad, brother, sister, neighbors).
As to the lyric, "Hey what's in this drink?" He says he's mixing drinks a few lines earlier. Could it be that she actually wants to know what drink he made? Because I know when my husband will occasionally have me try something, I try it first and then ask what it is.

Splash90 said...

Later on she says "The answer is no" and "I really can't stay"

Splash90 said...

I don't think anyone is saying she WAS raped... just that what's happening often precedes date rape and it's just creepy that it is a beloved holiday tune! And I think it's creepy that you think that view is "sad." Hope you don't try to "convince" women like the dude in the song does.

Speaking of definitions, please look up the definition of "insane."

Splash90 said...

"...since rape is defined as sex without consent, having sex with someone who is drunk IS RAPE. By law, if a person is intoxicated or drugged, they do not have the ability to give consent. ...deciding whether you’ll have sex or not requires consent by both people. Consent is defined by the law as an agreement made without pressure, manipulation or intimidation. Otherwise, it’s rape."

So if they shack up after they're done singing that song, unless she is NOT drunk AND she gives him a clear yes, it's rape. That's why it's creepy... because neither of those seem to be the case!

arherber said...

**He laments "How can you do this thing to me?" I'm assuming he means blue balls.** Bwahahahahahahaha....almost fell out of my chair!

Splash90 said...

Thanks for sharing that! The video didn't seem any less creepy to me (except for the fact that it made it clear the people weren't drunk), but I read a few of the comments on it, and that led me to another webpage which gives a GREAT explanation of the context of the situation. It's really worth a read for everyone including Jen! (scroll down to the one that starts out "no no no it was not.)

I do still think it's weird that the song ever became a Christmas standard! It has nothing at all to do with Christmas or even actually winter since they're making up the whole snowy thing and it's all about sex. But it's certainly not the only song which is a "Christmas standard" which really shouldn't be!

Splash90 said...

OK I just read a really great explanation of the song... see my reply to Jeffie below!

Britt said...

Awww, come on!! Song was not written with intent of rape or date-rape drugs. It was written in 1944 and an Oscar winner. How far do we have to go... to demonize a delightful, light-hearted Christmas carol???!!! Anything and everything can be twisted to mean something else. Really folks, it's just a song.
Get yourself out of trash talk and enjoy the holidays without having to put each other down. Life is too short. Stop being offended and use that energy to lift someone up. Just a thought!!

Unknown said...

I agree

Chicbearsfan350 said...

Seems to me that its storming its ass off outside. He wants her to stay. She shouldnt be out in the blizzard so hes trying to convince her. She on the other hand is worried about her reputation and what others will think and putting her fear of judgement ahead of her own safety.

Unknown said...

You act like such a Karen it’s so fucking funny, like holy shit

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