Baby, It's Cold Outside

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Baby, It's Cold Outside (song))
Jump to: navigation, search
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
Written 1944
Songwriter(s) Frank Loesser

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a song written by Frank Loesser in 1944.[1] It is a call and response duet in which a host (usually performed by a male voice) attempts to convince a guest (usually performed by a female voice) that she should stay the evening because the weather is cold and the trip home would be difficult.

Loesser originally created it to sing with his wife, Lynn Garland, as a private performance for their friends. It was later recorded for the film Neptune's Daughter, it has been recorded by many artists since its original release, including Ray Charles, Dolly Parton and Michael Bublé.


Loesser wrote the duet in 1944 and premiered the song with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their Navarro Hotel in New York housewarming party, and performed it toward the end of the evening, signifying to guests that it was nearly time to end the party. Loesser would introduce himself as the "Evil of Two Loessers", a play on the theme of the song, trying to keep the girl from leaving, and on the phrase "lesser of two evils". This was a period when the Hollywood elite's chief entertainment was throwing parties and inviting guests who were expected to perform. Garland wrote that after the first performance, "We become instant parlor room stars. We got invited to all the best parties for years on the basis of 'Baby.' It was our ticket to caviar and truffles. Parties were built around our being the closing act." Garland considered it their song and was furious when Loesser told her he was selling the song. Garland wrote, "I felt as betrayed as if I'd caught him in bed with another woman."[2]


The lyrics in this duet are designed to be heard as a conversation between two people, identified as "mouse" (usually female) and "wolf" (usually male) on the printed score; they are at the wolf's home and the mouse decides it is time to go home, but the wolf flirtatiously invites the mouse to stay as it is late and "it's cold outside." The mouse states that he/she has enjoyed the time and agrees at one point to another drink, but the mouse also says "the answer is no" and tries to return home, worried what family and neighbors will think.[3] Every line in the song features a statement from the mouse followed by a response from the wolf, which is musically known as a call and response song.

Although some critical analyses of the song have highlighted parts of the lyrics such as "What's in this drink?" and the wolf's unrelenting pressure to stay despite the mouse's repeated suggestions that she should go home,[4] others noted that cultural expectations of the time period were such that women were not socially permitted to spend the night with a boyfriend or fiancé, and that the mouse states that she wants to stay, while "What's in this drink?" was a common idiom of the period used to rebuke social expectations by blaming one's actions on the influence of alcohol.[4][5]


In 1948, after years of informally performing the song at various parties, Loesser sold the rights to MGM, which inserted the song into its 1949 motion picture, Neptune's Daughter.[2] The film featured two performances of the song: one by Ricardo Montalbán and Esther Williams and the other by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett, the second of which has the roles of wolf and mouse reversed. These performances earned Loesser an Academy Award for Best Original Song.[1]

In at least one published version the tempo of the song is given as "Loesserando", a humorous reference to the composer's name.[6]

1949 recordings[edit]

The following versions were recorded in 1949:

  • The recording by Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark was recorded on March 17 and released by Columbia Records as catalog number 38463. It first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on June 4, 1949, and lasted 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 6.[7]
  • The recording by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer was recorded on March 18 and released by Capitol Records as catalog number 567. It first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on May 6, 1949, and lasted 19 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 4.[8]
  • The recording by Don Cornell and Laura Leslie with the Sammy Kaye orchestra was recorded on April 12 and released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3448. It first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on June 24, 1949, and lasted 10 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 13.[8]
  • The recording by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan was recorded on April 28 and released by Decca Records as catalog number 24644. It first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on June 17, 1949, and lasted seven weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 17.[8]
  • A recording by Lynn Garland and Frank Loesser (credited as Lynn & Frank Loesser) was released by Mercury Records as catalog number 5307.[9]
  • A parody recording was made by Homer and Jethro with June Carter; it went to No. 9 on the country charts and No. 22 on the pop charts.

Other recordings[edit]

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" has been recorded by numerous other artists over the years. At least five different versions of the song have made at least one singles chart in the United States.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ a b Loesser, Susan (1993). A Most Remarkable Fella: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life; A Portrait by His Daughter. Hal Leonard. pp. 79–81. ISBN 1-55611-364-1. 
  3. ^ Riis, Thomas Laurence (January 1, 2008). Frank Loesser. Yale University Press. pp. 71–73. ISBN 0300110510. 
  4. ^ a b Marya Hannun (December 19, 2014). "'Baby It's Cold Outside' was once an anthem for progressive women. What happened?". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Listening While Feminist: In Defense of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'". Persophone Magazine. December 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ Feinstein, Michael (June 29, 2010). "Comment made by Michael Feinstein during Fresh Air Celebrates Frank Loesser's 100th Birthday interview". Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940–1955. Record Research. 
  9. ^ Loesser, Lynn & Loesser, Frank (December 16, 2017). "Baby It's Cold Outside". Retrieved December 16, 2017 – via Internet Archive. 
  10. ^ "Boy Meets Girl: Sammy Davis, Jr. and Carmen McRae". Retrieved December 16, 2017. 
  11. ^ "'Baby, It's Cold Outside': You choose the best version -- POLL". Retrieved December 16, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Hot 100: Week of December 25, 2010 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2010. 
  13. ^ Gunter, Barrie (July 24, 2014). "I Want to Change My Life: Can Reality TV Competition Shows Trigger Lasting Career Success?". Cambridge Scholars Publishing – via Google Books. 
  14. ^ "Watch Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett Sing Gorgeous 'Baby It's Cold Outside' Duet in New Commercial". Billboard. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  15. ^ McGlynn, Katla (December 22, 2013). "Their Version Of 'Baby It's Cold Outside' Is So Much Better". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Jimmy Fallon's 'Baby It's Cold Outside' SNL Duet Has Hilariously Cold Modern Twist". Mediaite. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Chart Search Virginia to Vegas". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Adult Contemporary". Billboard. December 20, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Baby It's Cold Outside - Single by Avril Lavigne & Jonny Blu on Apple Music". iTunes (US). November 22, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 

External links[edit]