Sunday, February 5, 2017

Musings Re the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside!"



Yesterday, an American Robin spent a good amount of time in the urban garden that I have on my roof extension here in NYC. He/she can be seen in the image atop this posting. I think him/her is the same American Robin (who visited me this past Friday), that I wrote about in an entry which I published on that day. As you can see the creature is very puffed up! Puffing up, as you may know, dear reader, is a "task" birds perform for many reasons, including to keep warm!

I may be biased in thinking this creature is adorable, but I do, and I admire his/her tenacity in coping with the bitter cold temperatures. Therefore, I kept my eye on he birdie as he/she continued his/her astute practice of puffing up! This is evidenced in the following pictures.



And I wasn't the only one keeping an eye on a creature, for this little guy/gal, seemed to be keeping an eye on me; as you might surmise from the photos below.



I'm not sure if this bird recognizes me, he/she seems to be making eye contact, but I'm not going to assume, I was the subject of his/her observation! But, I still profess that "my" American Robin was puffing up to keep warm.


In any event, my seeing this American Robin in this puffed-up state, caused me to think of the winter song, Baby It's Cold Outside, which is frequently heard in an UWS shop (More & More Antiques) at Christmas time.

I have mentioned More & More Antiques many times here on Blogger as this shop is carrying all of my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards, which can be seen in thumbnail format directly below.



However, you can view these images in a larger size via a prior post here on Blogger; as well as within a storefront page on my web-site, patriciayoungquist.com.

Btw, all of these postcards are now available in the gift shop for the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum; and the fauna-themed ones may still be found at the gift shop for The Raptor Trust (a bird rehab facility in New Jersey).

FYI, the images on all of my postcards are from both the iBook and ePub version of Cam's book, Words In Our Beak, Volume One.


Cam's book and or my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards make great gifts for any occasion, and especially for Valentines Day, which, as of this posting is nine days from today!

But, as is my habit, I've digressed! Getting back to the puffed-up robin reminding me of the the winter song, Baby It's Cold Outside: Thinking of the song caused me to do some research and here's what I found:

According to Wiki, "'Baby, It's Cold Outside"' is a song written by Frank Loesser in 1944. It is a call and response duet in which one of the singers (usually performed by a male voice) attempts to convince a guest (usually performed by a female voice) that they should stay together for a romantic evening because the weather is cold and the trip home would be difficult.

"Originally recorded for the film Neptune's Daughter, it has been recorded by many artists since its original release, including Ray Charles, Dolly Parton and Michael Bublé.

"Loesser wrote the duet in 1944 and premiered the song with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their Navarro Hotel in New York housewarming party, and performed it toward the end of the evening, signifying to guests that it was nearly time to end the party."

The aforementioned Wiki Page also states the lyrics "in this duet are designed to be heard as a conversation between two people, identified as 'mouse' (usually female) and 'wolf' (usually male) on the printed score; they have returned to the wolf's home after a date, and the mouse decides it is time to go home, but the wolf flirtatiously invites the mouse to stay as it is late and 'it's cold outside.' The mouse wants to stay and enjoy herself, but feels obligated to return home, worried what family and neighbors will think if she stays. Every line in the song features a statement from the mouse followed by a response from the wolf, which is musically known as a call and response song.

"Although some critical analyses of the song have highlighted parts of the lyrics such as 'What's in this drink?' and the wolf's unrelenting pressure to stay despite the mouse's repeated suggestions that she should go home, others noted that cultural expectations of the time period were such that women were not socially permitted to spend the night with a boyfriend or fiance, and that the mouse states that she wants to stay, while 'What's in this drink?' was a common idiom of the period used to rebuke social expectations by blaming one's actions on the influence of alcohol."

In any event, I found additional information (AND A NEW RENDITION) re the song and here it is:

According to an NPR segment broadcasted this past December, "the song 'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' has had many lives...  In the past few years, however, some have called the song out for what they see as creepy undertones. In it, a woman sings, 'I really can't stay,' and the man she's with insists — repeatedly — that she stay longer.

"Minneapolis-based singer-songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski are among those who take issue with its lyrics. 'It was meant to be playful, but all those lyrics just sit wrong with me — especially being from this generation,' Liza says.

"Lemanski adds that the original score for the song labels the man's voice part as 'wolf' and the woman's voice part as 'mouse.' 'It's just very aggressive,' he says. 'He's not respecting her wishes to leave.'

"So Liza and Lemanski decided to rewrite the song. Their version is much more mellow, and it emphasizes consent — they replace the original words with lines like, 'Baby, I'm fine with that' and 'Been hoping you get home safe.' They have released the song, and say they will donate the proceeds to the Sexual Violence Center of Minnesota, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence and RAINN.

I've posted their version below, for you dear reader, on this day, where (at least in NYC), baby, it is COLD OUTSIDE!




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