Baby It’s Cold Outside, a Christmas song from the 1940’s is sparking debate in Red Deer. Photo via YouTube/mrdaft

Debate over Christmas song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ continues in Red Deer

No one is denying the literal meaning of the words “baby it’s cold outside” in Alberta’s chilly winter climate, but the lyrics of a Christmas classic by the same name might be a different story altogether.

Red Deer’s Kraze 101.3 (CKIK-FM) did not have the song on its Christmas playlist this year because it’s not as popular as some other Christmas tunes.

Program director Sara Protasow said the radio station only plays popular Christmas hits such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, or tunes by Mariah Carey and Bing Crosby.

Referring to the recent controversy over the lyrics to Baby It’s Cold Outside, Protasow said the song doesn’t go as far as some people think it does, but it’s just a “little bit dated.”

“Like when she talks about what’s in the drink. I don’t think she is referring to roofies or anything like that,” said Protasow.

“It’s not offensive. I don’t think it’s rapey. I don’t think it has to do with date rape drugs or anything like that, but to me, it’s a not the message of consent that we want to teach our young girls and boys,” she added.

“It’s not a message I teach my five-year-old son as far as consent goes – so if someone says ‘no’ you say ‘cool’ and walk away,” she said referring to her son, Jax Fyvie.

A Cleveland radio station, WDOK-FM, announced recently it won’t play the holiday favourite Baby It’s Cold Outside this season. Some Canadian broadcasters, such as Corus Entertainment, CBC Radio and Rogers, have also banned the 1940s song this holiday season.

The move comes as the duet, written back in 1944, faces renewed scrutiny over what some say are inappropriate lyrics in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Red Deer Coun. Dianne Wyntjes replied to the Advocate on Twitter to say she does not agree with banning the song.

“Somebody picked this song, but I’m sure there are others if we had the time to scrutinize. What other songs are we going to scrutinize?” she said, referring to rap music.

Wyntjes said the song, much like statues that are being removed, serve as teachable moments.

“That is what was. That’s where we were in society – it’s like women not working. Then we evolved to women working outside the home, so it’s an evolution, so I look at art and music as an evolution of that,” said Wyntjes.

“I’m a firm believer, don’t eradicate, let us use it as a teachable moment.”

Other people also took to Twitter to join the debate. One respondent said if you don’t like the song, change the station.

“This is a slippery slope when we start regulating content. Pull one song and you will have to pull them all. There are a lot of rock and pop songs out there today that don’t meet political correct standard,” he said.

Gary Spornitz did not agree with the ban either.

“Political correctness gone berserk,” Spornitz said on Twitter.

With files from the Canadian Press

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Sara Protasow, program director at Kraze says the 1940’s song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” doesn’t teach the right consent message she would like her son Jax Fyvie to learn. Photo contributed

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