‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Sales Surge Amid Calls to Ban Christmas Classic

Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams in Neptune's Daughter (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer MGM, 1949)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
WARNER TODD HUSTON

American consumers responded to the attempts to rape-shame the Christmas classic song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by driving up sales of the tune.

The current controversy sprang to national attention when a virtue signaling radio station in Cleveland, Ohio, announced that it was banning the 70-year-old Christmas ditty because liberals said it celebrated “rape.”

But now, several versions of the song have surged in sales and streaming since the song was brought back to national attention, Billboard reported.

A DJ at Cleveland’s WDOK radio inadvertently drove the sales by attempting to bury the song under a permanent ban, calling it “offensive.”

“I do realize that when the song was written in 1944 [by Frank Loesser], it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” WDOK’s Glenn Anderson said at the end of November. “The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.

But since Anderson’s effort to destroy the song, sales have risen to achieve exactly the opposite of what the disc jockey intended.

Billboard reports that several versions of the song jumped into the list of most-played Christmas songs. Dean Martin’s 1959 version, Idina Menzel’s and Michael Bublé’s 2014 issue, and Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel’s duet from the 2003 film, Elf, have all suddenly sold thousands of copies each in downloads and CD sales.

Streaming services have also reported a massive wave of fans looking for “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Dean Martin’s version, for instance, has been streamed 8.2 million times by the end of the first week of December.

Several other versions have also enjoyed a resurgence on streaming services. Menzel’s version has earned 4.8 million listens, and Brett Eldredge’s 2016 issue of the tune has seen 3.6 million fans.

Billboard also notes that, even if WDOK has banned the song, few other radio stations have followed suit. However, the various versions did drop a bit from the end of November after the controversy first sprang to national attention, with 10.2 million plays compared to 10.9 for the last week of November.

The song has found many defenders despite that liberals have been saying for the last ten years that the song celebrates rape. Even Star Trek actor William Shatner jumped to his Twitter account to slam the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for banning the song on radio — a decision the CBC later reversed.

Dean Martin’s daughter, Deana Martin, also weighed in on the song her father sang so well, saying that she will continue to perform the song in her concerts.

“It won the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’ in the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter.’ It’s been recorded by dozens of the world’s top recording artists for over 60 years, including my dad Dean Martin,” Martin said after the radio station banned the song. “This song is included in his very successful 1959 ‘Winter Romance’ album, and I’m very proud that it has become an evergreen favorite that is played every holiday season.”

“I personally love performing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and will continue to do so,” she said adding, “Merry Christmas!”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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