John Legend & Kelly Clarkson's Consent-Filled 'Baby It's Cold Outside' Is Here
You can add this version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to all your holiday playlists guilt-free
While “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is an undeniably catchy holiday tune (particularly the version from Elf, which feels super nostalgic and like I need it on every playlist to get the holiday season started), listening to it with a 2019 ear can feel a little awkward. More specifically, the song really, really sounds like it’s about date rape (or, at the very least, some very creepy coercion), and in the Me Too era, we can’t ignore that.
Luckily, some of our favorite crooners decided to take it upon themselves and update the song for modern times. John Legend and Kelly Clarkson announced last month that they had teamed up to give us a version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” that’s appropriate for 2019, and now, with Halloween over and Christmas season in full swing, they just dropped the song.
Here, have a listen.
In the original version, we had these distinctly coercive sounding lyrics: “I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside)/ I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)/ So very nice (I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)/ My mother will start to worry (beautiful, what’s your hurry?)/ My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar).”
But in the new version, they’ve been replaced with this: “I really can’t stay (baby, it’s cold outside)/ I’ve got to 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)/ My daddy will be pacing the floor (Wait, what are you still livin’ home for?).”
In fact, throughout the song, John encourages Kelly to make her own choices by calling her an Uber and singing “It’s your body and your choice.”
Insecure star and writer Natasha Rothwell helped John write the song’s lyrics. It’s already been released as a single, obviously, but it will also be included on a full-length Christmas album John is releasing this year called A Legendary Christmas: The Deluxe Edition.
And at the end of the song, while we don’t really know what Kelly ultimately decides to do, there is a twist: When the Uber driver arrives and lets the couple know that he really can’t stay, so they need to figure their sh*t out before his two-minute waiting period is up. TBH, that’s the most relatable part.