By James Hibberd
December 10, 2018 at 10:35 AM EST
MGM

The great “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” debate of 2018 continues. Now the daughter of the 1944 song’s composer is weighing in and defending the holiday classic against accusations that it’s an ode to date rape.

“Bill Cosby ruined it for everybody,” Susan Loesser, the 74-year-old daughter of Broadway legend Frank Loesser, told NBC News. “Way before #Me Too, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties. But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”

Loesser’s father died in 1969 and she says her father would be “furious” at the controversy surrounding the song, which made nationwide headlines earlier this month when it was banned by a Cleveland radio station after the station received listener complaints. Since the controversy went viral, other radio stations in Colorado, California and Toronto also banned the song,

“I think my father would be furious at that,” Loesser said of the stations that have banned the song. “People used to say ‘what’s in this drink’ as a joke. You know, ‘this drink is going straight to my head so what’s in this drink?’ Back then it didn’t mean you drugged me … Absolutely I get it. But I think it would be good if people looked at the song in the context of the time. It was written in 1944.”

In recent days, some stations have restored the song to air. A station in Denver reportedly reinstated the song after an online poll showed 95 percent of listeners voted to keep it. Also, a San Francisco station likewise reinstated the song. “KOIT’s listeners have spoken, and the overwhelming message is they do want to hear ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ on our station, as they have throughout the years,” said Program Director Brian Figula in a statement. “More than seven out of every ten listeners who responded said although some lyrics of the song may reflect a different era and a different sensibility than today, still they love the tradition and history of the song, and want to hear it as part of their holiday season.”

USA Today points out that Saturday Night Live linked the song to Cosby in a 2015 episode that aired after the comedian was accused by 60 women of drugging and assaulting them. The sketch shows Kenan Thompson as Cosby singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with a woman on a couch.

Here is the original video from Neptune’s Daughter, a 1949 musical romantic comedy film starring Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán.

Here are the full lyrics to the song:

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
So very nice (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice)
My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s cold outside
Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go (Baby it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s cold outside)
The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (Look out the window at that storm)
My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)
My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a blizzard before) (And I don’t even smoke)
I’ve got to get home (Baby you’ll freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat? (It’s up to your knees out there!)
You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your hand)
But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)
At least there will be plenty implied (If you caught pneumonia and died!)
I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
Baby it’s cold
Baby it’s cold outside
Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!
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