"Baby It's Cold Outside" has become a bit controversial in the #MeToo era, so when John Legend recorded the 1944 holiday classic for the upcoming deluxe edition of his Christmas album, he decided to change the lyrics. That decision isn't going over well with some big names. Vanity Fair reported last month that Legend and fellow The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson made the song less "date-rapey," singing lines like this in the new version:
- Clarkson: "What will my friends think..." (original line: "The neighbors might think...")
- Legend: "I think they should rejoice." (original line: "Baby, it's bad out there.")
- Clarkson: "...if I have one more drink?" (original line: "Say, what's in this drink?")
- Legend: "It's your body and your choice." (original line: "No cabs to be had out there.")
Legend also, at two points in the song
, offers to call Clarkson a ride home rather than urging her to stay, and tones down a few other lyrics ("So glad that you dropped in" rather than "Been hoping that you'd drop in," and "Time spent with you is paradise" rather than "I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice"). But while VF
says the changes feel "genuine, not performative" and that the song is still "every bit as fun and swinging as the original," not everyone agrees.