A failed twist on a holiday classic

Staff Editorial

We’ve all heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Well, maybe John Legend and Kelly Clarkson haven’t heard the phrase. Recently, Legend and Clarkson covered “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” but made it a little more “woke.”

By making it “woke,” the duo changed some of the original lyrics. In this version, Legend respects Clarkson’s company, understands the concept of consent and gets her an Uber to go home. Some changes include, “If I have one more drink? (It’s your body and your choice)” and “Don’t you see? (I want you to stay, it’s not up to me).


Naturally, this sent the Twitter-sphere into a fury and Legend and Clarkson received some cold backlash online. But others appreciated the PC version.

It’s understandable as to why they changed it. Last year, the original version was scrutinized for subliminally promoting date rape, with the man trying to get the woman to stay at his apartment after she repeatedly says no. The song was banned from radio stations in San Francisco and Cleveland.

However, the 2019 version took some of the changes just a little too far. Sure, the original lyrics are flirty, but they’re innocent, and shouldn’t be changed.

Numerous artists have covered the holiday classic, including Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton, Idina Manziel and Michael Buble and even Kelly Clarkson and Ronnie Dunn have covered the song without the revised lyrics.

“Leave a tender moment alone,” Deana Martin, daughter of Dean Martin, who sang the original, said.

Art and music are supposed to be thought provoking — that’s the fun of it. But we can’t read too much into songs, particularly fun, innocent holiday classics. With this logic, what’s the true meaning of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer?”

And if Legend and Clarkson didn’t like the lyrics to the song, why not just cover a different song?

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” debuted in 1944, a completely different time period and era than today. But in no way is it “creepy” or “rapey.”

The 2019 version is self-aware, and does keep the song light-hearted. When Clarkson says that if she doesn’t get home, her mom will start to worry, Legend responds by telling her that her ride is on its way. Following that, Clarkson says that her dad will start pacing the floor, and Legend asks why she is still living at home.

But in cases like this, sometimes being too politically correct is going overboard. While Legend and Clarkson had good intentions with the changing the lyrics, they would have been better off keeping them the same. And it’s also a lesson to society, don’t read too much into something, because the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.