Hear John Legend and Kelly Clarkson's retooled 'Baby It's Cold Outside'

Singers John Legend and Kelly Clarkson perform new lyrics in the classic holiday song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." HLN's Robin Meade has more.

Posted: Nov 8, 2019 10:10 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2019 10:10 PM

John Legend and Kelly Clarkson have put a 21st-century spin on the classic holiday song "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which has been the subject of criticism for what some listeners see as sexist or nonconsensual lyrics.

The new song, featured in Legend's holiday album, "A Legendary Christmas: Deluxe Edition," changes the lyrics to the decades old version, bringing a more modern ring to the beloved call-and-response tune.

In the original lyrics, written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and made famous by the film "Neptune's Daughter" in 1949, the male singer seems to be insistently persuading his female guest to stay, despite her insistence that, "I've got to go away," and, "The answer is no."

In the era of #MeToo, those lines seem to many like definite denials of the male singer's pleas of, "What's the sense in hurtin' my pride?" and, "Oh baby don't hold out."

Listeners in the 1950s may not have blinked an eye, but in a culture than now focuses more on sexual consent, the lyrics seem problematic to some.

Instead of canceling the song altogether, Legend and Clarkson present a fresh set of lyrics to the iconic jazzy tune. This time, the song sounds more like the parting of two lovers rather than a strange persuasion effort.

When Clarkson sings, "I've got to go away," Legend returns with, "I can call you a ride." And guess what? Her driver's name is Murray and Legend wants her to text him when she's home safely.

"Text me when you get home," Legend sings.

But don't worry, he's not shoving her out the door. It's obvious the two want to be together, but Clarkson just isn't feeling completely sure about staying the night and doesn't want to worry her family.

Legend brings up a good point, though, when he sings, "Wait, what are you still livin' home for?"

"I want you to stay, it's not up to me," he tells her.

That's right! And you know what else?

"It's your body and your choice," he tells her as she worries what her friends will think, echoing the cry of women's rights protesters on the decade.

Not everyone's warming up to the idea of a new version.

"The Talk" co-host Sharon Osborne is chilly towards the new release. "It's a piece of art... to change an innocent lyric, to what is it, 'your mind and your body?' What the hell are you on? That's ridiculous," she said during a discussion on the show.

And Deena Martin, Dean Martin's daughter, called Legend's new lyrics "absolutely absurd."

"I think what he's done is he's stealing the thunder from Frank Loesser's song and my dad," she said on Good Morning Britain. "He should write his own song if he doesn't like this one, but don't change the lyrics. It's a classic, perfect song."

See for yourself, though. Here's the song and lyrics so you can decide how you feel about it.

Updated Lyrics

[Verse 1: Kelly Clarkson & John Legend]

I really can't stay (Baby, it's cold outside)

I've got to go away (But I can call you a ride)

This evening has been (I'm so glad you that you dropped in)

So very nice (Time spent with you is paradise)

My momma will start to worry (I'll call the car and tell him to hurry)

My daddy will be pacing the floor (Wait, what are you still livin' home for?)

So, really, I'd better scurry (Your driver, his name is Murray)

But maybe just a half a drink more (Oh, we're both adults, so who's keepin' score)

What will my friends think? (Well, I think they should rejoice)

If I have one more drink? (It's your body and your choice)

Ooh you really know how (Your eyes are like starlight now)

To cast a spell (One look at you and then I fell)

I ought to say, "No, no, no, sir" (Then you really ought to go, go, go)

At least I'm gonna say that I tried (Well, Murray, he just pulled up outside)

[Chorus: Kelly Clarkson, John Legend & Both]

I really can't stay

(I understand, baby)

Baby, it's cold outside

[Verse 2: Kelly Clarkson & John Legend]

I simply should go (Text me when you get home)

Oh, I'm supposed to say no (Mm, I guess that's respectable)

This welcome has been (I've been lucky that you dropped in)

So nice and warm (But you better go before it storms)

My sister will be suspicious (Well, gosh your lips look delicious)

My brother will be there at the door (Oh, he loves my music, baby, I'm sure)

My gossipy neighbor's vicious (I'm a genie, tell me what your wish is)

But maybe just a cigarette more (Oh, that's somethin' we should probably explore)

I've got to get home (Oh, baby, I'm well aware)

Say, lend me a coat (Oh, keep it girl, I don't care)

You've really been grand (I feel when you touch my hands)

But don't you see? (I want you to stay, it's not up to me)

There's bound to be talk tomorrow (Well, they can talk, but what do they know)

At least there will be plenty implied (Oh, let their mind their business and go)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296154

Reported Deaths: 6764
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19700230
Hinds18851392
Harrison16736281
Rankin12757265
Jackson12623228
Lee9694161
Madison9480203
Jones7990147
Forrest7234138
Lauderdale6837226
Lowndes6032140
Lamar589680
Lafayette5740113
Washington5220130
Bolivar4616124
Oktibbeha441593
Panola431995
Pearl River4178131
Warren4134115
Pontotoc410571
Marshall403592
Monroe3990127
Union396174
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3552104
Hancock348975
Leflore3380118
Sunflower318986
Tate303174
Pike301296
Scott294570
Alcorn292263
Yazoo290565
Itawamba290175
Coahoma281169
Tippah279265
Copiah278758
Simpson276280
Prentiss270258
Wayne254341
Leake252871
Marion252778
Covington249580
Grenada247878
Adams234678
George232145
Newton230852
Winston221877
Jasper213645
Tishomingo212665
Attala206669
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie171239
Clarke169371
Calhoun158028
Smith153033
Yalobusha145036
Greene127833
Walthall124340
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry122135
Lawrence120321
Carroll118625
Amite111734
Webster110832
Jefferson Davis102231
Tunica99323
Claiborne98829
Benton93824
Humphreys92927
Kemper90323
Quitman77414
Franklin76119
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 497154

Reported Deaths: 10029
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson714001387
Mobile36252736
Madison32573462
Tuscaloosa24289414
Montgomery22708519
Shelby22112215
Baldwin19856285
Lee15021155
Calhoun13755288
Morgan13742252
Etowah13379320
Marshall11439210
Houston10110262
Elmore9451185
Limestone9413136
St. Clair9003225
Cullman8979182
Lauderdale8610212
DeKalb8486175
Talladega7582165
Walker6571259
Jackson6542103
Autauga631391
Blount6229127
Colbert5998120
Coffee5259103
Dale4657107
Russell406433
Franklin399778
Covington3989106
Chilton3891100
Escambia378772
Tallapoosa3613143
Clarke343953
Chambers3423111
Dallas3419142
Pike293372
Marion288895
Lawrence284683
Winston258668
Bibb245960
Geneva240270
Marengo238357
Pickens225055
Barbour212951
Hale211969
Fayette201357
Butler201166
Henry182941
Cherokee177739
Monroe166639
Randolph164640
Washington156635
Macon147243
Crenshaw146254
Clay145554
Cleburne139741
Lamar133733
Lowndes132551
Wilcox122525
Bullock117236
Conecuh107024
Perry105927
Sumter99432
Coosa89624
Greene88532
Choctaw55123
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 56°
Columbus
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 54°
Oxford
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather