The classic Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has scored some major victories this week. On top of a Bay Area radio station lifting its ban on the seasonal favorite, Billboard now reports that the song is surging in sales despite feminists’ attempts to brandish it as some kind of date rape anthem.
“Several versions of the holiday song surged in sales and streaming and continued to draw airplay in the latest tracking week,” reports Billboard. “Most notably, on Billboard‘s Holiday Digital Song Sales chart dated Dec. 15, three interpretations of ‘Baby’ appear, the most of any title, and they make the survey’s three largest gains, respectively.”
In recent weeks, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been alleged to promote date rape by feminists who are unable to see the nuance in the song’s flirtatious nature. It all began earlier this month when a Cleveland radio station banned the song entirely after some listeners complained it sent the wrong message in the #MeToo era, even though the song’s creator, Frank Loesser, intended it as a flirtatious song between a man and a woman on a cold winter’s night. The song’s critics typically overlook the part where the woman sings, “Baby, it’s cold outside” in unison with her male partner, signifying that the two were always in sync. Frank Loesser’s daughter recently asserted this was the case.
While some radio stations have banned the song entirely, others have reversed the company’s decision after listeners voiced their disapproval. An informal poll on CBS New York shows a majority of people want “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” kept on the radio. The Billboard sale numbers confirm that reality even more.
“Dean Martin‘s version, recorded in 1959, is the chart’s Greatest Gainer, soaring 23-2 for its highest rank in over seven years,” reports Billboard. “In the week ending Dec. 6, Martin’s take charged by 257 percent to 7,000 sold.”
“Plus, Idina Menzel‘s 2014 version with Michael Bublé re-enters Holiday Digital Song Sales at No. 29, up 165 percent to 2,000 sold, and Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel‘s 2003 duet, from the Elf soundtrack, debuts at No. 41, bounding by 130 percent to 2,000 sold,” the report continued.
On streaming platforms, the classic Christmas song has also seen a spike in sales on the Holiday Streaming Songs chart. Dean Martin’s version has shot up from the number 33 spot to number 25, with 8.2 million U.S. streams in the week ending December 6. The Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé version trails at 4.8 million U.S. streams.
Program directors at radio stations say that overall listener enthusiasm for the song remains high and that they have received no complaints.
“We love it here. I have not had any listener complaints,” Emily Boldon, program director of WWLI Providence, Rhode Island, told Billboard. “Last year, [morning hosts] Heather [Gersten] and Steve [Donovan] did a show dedicated to listeners’ thoughts on the song and, overwhelmingly, our audience agreed that it is a delightful holiday favorite. I haven’t looked back since.”
“The topic has not come up again this year, and we have not received any complaints about playing the song,” said Heather Gersten, the station’s assistant PD, says. “If anything, we’ve heard from listeners who are glad we’re still playing it.”