11:06 AM

A Jaded Person's Guide to Christmas Songs: Part One

The holidays have been coming since the beginning of October for department stores, and the rest of us normal denizens of Earth have begun to enjoy hearing bells/reindeer/music in the air. Now, a few weeks into December with the local radio stations that plays holiday music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I find that my drive to work has resulted in hearing the same eight songs over and over.

I wouldn't normally call myself jaded, because I love the holidays. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and favorite holiday of them all (though Leif Ericson day is a close second). But the vast array of holiday songs out there is never proportionate to the ones they play on the radio; in fact, I often hear the same five songs twice in one hour. Sometimes three times. And hearing the same songs, over and over again, is annoying.

So here are those Christmas songs that I have started to use the grand old coping mechanism of sarcasm in order to stay sane on the commute to work. Hopefully my holiday music selection will be limited to only hearing "The Christmas Shoes" once this season.

While I'd originally planned to do a whole list, the one creepiest and one of the most overplayed songs happens to be the one below. And considering I have other things I need to be doing right now, we're going to do this one song in detail.

Promise, it's extra cynical.

"Baby It's Cold Outside" - any version

I haven't figured out who is the culprit here, but the man is either getting the woman drunk enough to have sex with him, while she says no, or the woman is just a slut. Either way, the guy is certainly pressuring the girl in this song, and it gets creepy after the 20th listen.

Not seeing what I mean? Let's go in-depth. My comments are in bold for your enjoyment.

(Lyrics courtesy of stlyrics.com)

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
Ok, we can understand the hesitation here - you're lovers, you've got to leave, you're sad because you probably live in the Northeast and it's cold enough to freeze ducks to the pond. Starts out innocently enough.

This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
Wait, been hoping you'd drop in? Why wouldn't you know? Were you waiting by the door this whole time for her to come by?

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
My question: how old are you girl? I mean, your parents are up? I smell underage...

So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour
Ok, so the girl is doing a lot of talking here instead of going. It sounds like she's putting up a fight or making a long soliloquy to avoid actually doing anything else. And what music is in the juke box, Barry White?

The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink - No cabs to be had out there
We've officially stepped over into creepy. There's something different with the drink and while the girl stares at her glass the guy is at the window making sure no witnesses are lurking in the form of obnoxious cabbies.

I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight
To break the spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell
Spell? Using the last few lines, we can begin to suspect that the girl is actually drugged. AND THE HAT IS COMING OFF.

I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move closer
Yes, male narrator, we do mind.

At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride?
Ok, maybe the girl isn't drugged. But she sure isn't trying anymore.

I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside
It is cold, but you're not at home, so deal with it.

C'mon baby
I'm only reminded of the high school jock stereotype in all the bad 1950s horror movies: "Everyone else is doing it!"

I simply must go - Baby, it's cold outside
The answer is no - Ooh darling, it's cold outside
So finally the girl is stepping up again. About time.

This welcome has been - I'm lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm - Look out the window at that storm
Drugs have that effect.

My sister will be suspicious - Man, your lips look delicious
Well, we know the guy has one thing on his mind...

My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
Probably at the door with a shot gun at this rate.

My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh your lips are delicious
Like everyone else's mind isn't?

Well maybe just a half a drink more - Never such a blizzard before
Seriously, chick, go home. Nothing good happens past 2am...or when trapped inside.

I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat - It's up to your knees out there
JUST LEND HER THE COAT ALREADY. Why haven't you walked her out, man?

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?
How can she do this? Easily, though at this rate, she's moving slower than an Oliver Stone movie.

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
She won't die if you just got in your car and drove her home, pansy.

I really can't stay - Get over that hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

Baby it's cold outside
Screw you both.

Either way, while this song is cute when in a 1940s mind set, if you stop to think about what's going on, it sounds an awful lot like a sinister back plot is moving underneath. It IS cold outside after all...

3 comments:

David D— said...

Apparently, I had a lot to say about this...

http://inexperiencedromantic.blogspot.com/2010/12/lengthyfood-baby-its-cold-outside.html

In summary: this song is all about gossip. They both like each other, and they both want to stay together. The only reason she has for leaving is that people will gossip and assume things.

Like you, matron.

Nicole said...

Dude, a response?! I'm honored!!

You are right, though, the song is all about gossip! And it is a very sweet song if you go at it from the romantic mind set.

BUT - if I hear it one more time on the radio, it'll be time to switch back to My Chemical Romance. :)

David D— said...

Frankly, there are few Christmas songs I will listen to. As a matter of principle, they are good enough to transcend December:

Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)";
the Drifters' version of "White Christmas";
Stacey Kent's version of "The Christmas Song" [but then, I love most anything she does];
and anything from Vince Guaraldi's 'Charlie Brown Christmas'.

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