John Legend is releasing a deluxe edition of his holiday albumA Legendary Christmasand it will include a new version of the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with updated lyrics.
The 40-year-old singer is collaborating with fellow The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson for the new version of the song.
John and comedian Natasha Rothwell wrote new lyrics to give “Baby It’s Cold Outside” a modern and irreverent narrative. It has long been considered that the holiday tune is a sexist song that is seemingly about a date rape. The new lyrics have taken out the controversial sexist lines to be more appropriate for 2019:
“I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)/ I’ve gotta 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).”
Whereas once the lyrics went, “Say, what’s in this drink?” and featured a woman protesting “The answer is no” and her male partner continuing to try to wear her down, Legend has revised them.
“What will my friends think?” Clarkson now asks, before he responds, “I think they should rejoice.” Clarkson finishes her thought with “If I have one more drink?” before Legend replies, “It’s your body, and your choice.”
Other new tracks on the 18-track album will include “This Christmas,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Christmas in New Orleans.” The deluxe edition of the album will be released on November 8th.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” was first penned by Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls) in 1944 as a duet for him to sing with his wife at parties. It’s gone on to become an enduring holiday classic, sung by everyone from Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart to Michael Bublé and Idina Menzel.
But in recent years the lyrics have raised eyebrows. Last year, the song was taken off of some radio playlists in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Loesser’s daughter Susan told NBC News that “Bill Cosby ruined it for everybody,” referring to the comedian being accused by 60 women of drugging and assaulting them. “Way before #MeToo, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time,” she said.