Christmas Songs Controversy

The world today compared to 1944, when Frank Loesser’s ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside was penned, has changed massively. Our grandparents say things like ‘gay’,‘f*ggot’, ‘black’ and ‘half -caste’ without batting an eyelid but are shocked at our raunchy music videos and our outfits they would consider lingerie. They think we are over sensitive when it comes to political correctness but other things we say and do are far too taboo. When it comes to banning old songs, it is important to keep this in mind. 


The vast majority of people have grown up listening to ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’ without a problem but now, since the #metoo movement, suddenly it’s far too politically incorrect to ever be heard again.  


It is easy to see where people are coming from. The lyrics, if written today, sound like the woman in the song is begging to leave but her male counterpart is practically guarding the door and forcing alcohol down her neck.  However, those malicious intentions were never part of the song-writing process. How many times have you stayed out later than you know you should, made a half-attempt at leaving, only for whoever you are with to convince you to stay anyway. That is the narrative behind this song.  


‘Say what’s in this drink’ is a lyric that has repeatedly been brought up in support of the song being permanently removed from the airways. Understandably, people hear this and think of date rape. In reality, the meaning behind the lyric is actually that she is wondering what is in her drink (which, reminder, she asked for in the previous verse) that is making her be honest and reveal her desire to stay longer, something she knows people would judge her for. 


There have been arguments that regardless of the song’s original meaning, it is offensive to today’s listeners. The Christmas favourite ‘Fairytale of New York’ has also received backlash for offensive lyrics. Nobody has the power to disregard offense taken by anybody else and banning politically incorrect songs seems valid in order to lessen this offense. That is until you start to try determine where this line is drawn and what this action means for society.  


If you look deeply enough, problems can be found with any song lyrics. Should The Rolling Stones’ ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Kung Foo Fighting’ by Carl Douglas or ‘Run For Your Life’ by The Beatles be banned? Do we even need to agree with what we are listening to? After all, movies containing rapists, paedophiles and murderers are accepted. Scrapping every song that could possible cause offense in retrospect would, in effect, be deleting history. 


 Instead we should be focusing on songs that are released today. Kanye West and Lil Pump’s ‘I Love It’ and CamelPhat and Elderbrooks ‘Cola’ are examples of songs created by artists of a time where they should know better. Both songs are massively politically incorrect but received incredible amounts of airplay whilst songs that, unintentionally, caused less offense were refused.