“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was originally penned by “Guys and Dolls” songwriter Frank Loesser to perform with his wife, Lynn Garland, at parties, according to a Canadian Press story on Nov. 7, 2019. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was originally penned by “Guys and Dolls” songwriter Frank Loesser to perform with his wife, Lynn Garland, at parties, according to a Canadian Press story on Nov. 7, 2019. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Bell Media radio stations will play ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ again

TORONTO — Controversial holiday standard “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is returning to playlists at Bell Media’s radio stations starting next week.

A spokesman for the Canadian broadcaster says feedback from listeners has led the company to reintroduce the 1944 duet after yanking it out of rotation last Christmas season.

Bell was among numerous radio operators who effectively banned ”Baby It’s Cold Outside” from their airwaves following scrutiny over what some called inappropriate lyrics in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Most versions of the song feature a male performer trying to persuade a female singer to stay inside, with exchanges that include, “What’s in this drink?” and “Baby, don’t hold out.”

The perennial favourite was originally penned by “Guys and Dolls” songwriter Frank Loesser to perform with his wife, Lynn Garland, at parties.

In more recent years, critics have pointed out the dialogue between the singers comes off as the prelude to a sexual assault, particularly because the woman declines the man’s advances numerous times.

Others have defended the song, saying it’s a playful flirtation.

Those debates reached a crescendo last year when Cleveland radio station WDOK-FM announced it would no longer play the track in response to listener feedback.

Canadian broadcasters followed in step — Bell Media pulled recordings from its various outlets, including two 24-hour Christmas stations in Vancouver and Ottawa.

Rogers Media also removed the song from its Christmas stations around the same time. A representative for the company did not respond to questions about whether it planned to reintroduce the track this year.

Public broadcaster CBC bumped the song from its holiday streaming playlists last year only to add it back within days after an audience backlash. CBC spokeswoman Teaghan Hawke says the public broadcaster intends to keep “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on its playlists.

“Song lyrics are always open to interpretation and we recognize there are differing opinions pertaining to the lyrics,” she wrote in an emailed statement.

“Listeners have the option to skip past the song if they fall into the camp that thinks the lyrics are inappropriate.”

Hawke said CBC radio hosts will also have the option to “address the debate directly” on their programs and engage with listener feedback.

The protests around “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in Canada may be overblown, according to a survey conducted last year. Campaign Research found 72 per cent of respondents to a national poll disagreed with radio stations that pulled the song because some listeners found the lyrics upsetting.

Some pop artists have found ways to get around the debate entirely by making changes to the classic. A new version recorded by John Legend and Kelly Clarkson will debut this year with updated lyrics that emphasize consent.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday, March 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau announces donation to Duke of Edinburgh’s award ahead of funeral

Canada will donate $200,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award as… Continue reading

Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science) Will Amos responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says the fact that a screenshot of him in the nude was leaked to the media sends a troubling message about the corrosive state of politics in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Canada’s naked MP speaks out: leaked photo sends message ‘anything goes’ in politics

OTTAWA — The Liberal MP who inadvertently flashed his parliamentary colleagues says… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Opinion: Canada’s self-esteem needs Trump

Well, it was fun while it lasted. For four years, with Donald… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Shenanigans on the links

It must be something about my Scottish heritage but I seem to… Continue reading

Most Read