When my brother was in the Air Force, he served in Germany where he bought this marvelous Grundig stereo that he sent home as a gift to my parents. My father was a musician and singer in an area band and both of them loved music. I grew up listening to everything from opera to bluegrass and gospel to jazz. One of my favorite albums was a collection of duets with jazz trumpeter Al Hirt and Ann Margret called Beauty and the Beard. His voice had such gruff humor and hers was so flirty and arch that there was this amazing vocal chemistry. One of the songs was Baby, It’s Cold Outside and I just loved it.
This cozy sweater from Gizza made me think of that song. Especially with the snow, I have lived in Oregon long enough to think of cold weather when I see snow, unlike in Minnesota where I grew up. There, in winter, it is so cold all the moisture is drawn from the air. It has to warm up to snow.
Now, as an adult when I listen to Baby, It’s Cold Outside I hear it on two levels. There is still the nostalgic pleasure of a long familiar song and the aural pleasure of a lovely song performed so well. Meanwhile, there is this constant awareness that the song is essentially celebrating pressuring a reluctant woman. It is not exactly a date rape song to the same extent as Blurred Lines, but it still sends a poor message about no not being no, not quite, not really, and it’s cold outside.
I wish that at least I could say that was then, this is now. Things have changed, but then there’s Blurred Lines. Obviously not much has changed. However, I will still listen to the song and enjoy the music while recognizing its flaws. Even flawed, it is a beautiful song.
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