Watch Kelly Clarkson and John Legend perform their updated version of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'
The Voice coaches teamed for a live performance of their contemporary take on the classic holiday song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on Tuesday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, with both musicians singing updated lyrics co-written by Legend and Insecure‘s Natasha Rothwell.
Legend’s portion of the song now focuses on his partner’s consent after changing the original’s narrative that sees a man trying to convince a woman to stay the night, stressing that it’s “your body and your choice.”
“My mother will start to worry (I’ll call a car and tell ’em to hurry),” Clarkson and Legend sing as the song goes on. “My daddy will be pacing the floor (Wait, what are you still livin’ home for?).”
Originally penned by Frank Loesser in 1944, the classic Christmas tune has drawn criticism in recent years, including arguments that it glamorizes date rape (due in large part to the lyrics asking, “Say, what’s in this drink?”). Last year, a Cleveland radio station banned the original song from its airwaves due to listener complaints, according to local news reports.
Clarkson and Legend teamed for their new rendition as part of the latter’s A Legendary Christmas Deluxe Edition album, though their “modern and irreverent narrative,” as Legend has called it, isn’t the first woke remix; In 2016, Minneapolis-based singer-songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski released a version of the song with revamped lyrics, including lines like “Baby, I’m fine with that” while the male voice hopes his female partner gets “home safe” instead of pressuring her to stay inside with him.
Loesser’s daughter, Susan, previously defended her father’s song, asking today’s audiences to consider the context of the original.
“I think my father would be furious at that,” she said last year. “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.”
Watch Clarkson and Legend perform “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” above.