Baby, It’s Cold Outside


Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I really can’t stay
– But baby it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away
– But 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
My mother will start to worry
– Beautiful, what’s your hurry?
My father will be pacing the floor
– Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I’d better scurry
– Beautiful, please don’t hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more
– Put some records on while I pour

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
To break the spell
– I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir
– Mind if I move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
– What’s the sense in hurting my pride?
I really can’t stay
– Baby don’t hold out
Oh, but 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.
My sister will be suspicious
– Gosh, your lips look delicious.
My brother will be there at the door
– Waves upon a tropical storm.
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious
– Oh, your lips are delicious.
Maybe just a cigarette more
– Never such a blizzard before.

I’ve got to go home
– But, baby, you’ll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat
– It’s up to your knees out there
You’ve really been grand
– I’m thrilled when you touch my hand
But don’t you see
– How can you do this thing to me?
ByThere’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 hold out
Ohhh, baby it’s cold outside

The lyrics in this duet are designed to be heard as a conversation between two people, marked as “mouse” and “wolf” on the printed score; they have returned to the “wolf’s” home after a date, and the “mouse” decides it’s time to go home, but the “wolf” flirtatiously invites her to stay as it is late and “it’s cold outside.” Every line in the song features a statement from the “mouse” followed by a response from the “wolf”. Usually the “wolf” part is sung by a male and the “mouse” by a female.

Criticisms of the song stem from a reading of the lyrics not as the “mouse” wanting to stay and only putting up a token protest for the sake of appearance as supported by lyrics such as “The neighbors might think…”, “My father will be pacing the floor”, but instead as the “mouse” genuinely wanting to leave but being stopped by the “wolf” being coercive in his pleading with the mouse. Examples of questionable lyrics in this regard include, “I simply must go”, “The answer is no”, “I’ve got to go home”. There is also the line “Hey, what’s in this drink”, which with current interpretation could be taken to sound suspiciously like the “mouse” has been drugged. Many movies, at the time the song was written, used a similar line to refer to someone behaving in a different manner than they expected and blaming it on the alcohol.

P.S. The veterinarian’s office was closed yesterday, so as soon as I can take HRH to the vet today, I will give a short post on what I find out. She’s still not acting like she feels well, so hopefully the vet can tell me what’s wrong with my lovely little 15 year old feline friend.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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