Baby It's Cold Outside
Written By: Frank Loesser, Lynn Loesser
Decorated composer Frank Loesser (who wrote the
score for the broadway hit 'Guy and Dolls' amongst others) wrote
'Baby, It's Cold Outside' in 1944, performing it for the first time
with his wife at a housewarming party they were throwing in New
York. The piece went down a treat and became the couple's party
piece. Such was its success that the movie industry came a-running
and 4 years later in 1948 Loesser sold the rights to 'Baby, It's
Cold Outside' to MGM. The song made an appearance in a movie called
'Neptune' Daughter' the very next year and also enjoyed
considerable chart success.
'Baby, It's Cold Outside' has 2 central
characters, a wolf (sung by the male) and a mouse (sung by the
female). The wolf is so worried about the cold temperatures that he
pleads with the mouse not to go outside for fear of freezing to
death. This simple theme has been turned on its head over the years
and contemporary versions of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' contain a
more suggestive subtext.
'Baby, It's Cold Outside' has been recorded on
countless occasions, perhaps most enduringly by Dean Martin. What
follows are the most renowned versions:
1949 - There were no fewer than 7 versions of
'Baby, It's Cold Outside' released in 1949 (Louis Armstrong and
Ella Fitzgerald even got in on the act, but not at the same time).
Not all were hits but several of them reached the Billboard Top 10
with their highest chart placings oddly occurring in late Spring
and early Summer. The most well received was by Margaret Whiting
and Johnny Mercer. Bob Hope and Doris Day also did a radio version
of the song in 1949, which you can hear it in the video below.
1957 - Sammy Davis and Carmen
McRae recorded a jaunty and slightly jazzy version of the song for
their album together 'Boy Meets Girl'.
1959 - Dean Martin's seminal
version featured the singer with a chorus of ladies rather than the
traditional lone female voice. As a result the song has plenty of
swing, with Martin sounding as if he were smiling as he sang.
1987 - Ray Charles and Dionne
Warwick sang an altogether classy version of 'Baby, It's Cold
Outside' at the Grammy's in 1987.
1990 - Barry Manilow and K.T.
Oslin got into the mood for their version together, which appeared
on his 'Because It's Christmas' collection.
1991 - Bette Midler and James
Caan sang the ditty together for the soundtrack to the movie 'For
1999 - Cery Matthews and Tom
Jones got hot and heavy (and a little ironic) for their duet on
Jones' album 'Reloaded'.
2003 - Actress/singer Zooey
Deschanel recorded the song with Leon Redbone for the soundtrack to
'Elf' movie. In the video below she unwittingly sings along with
Will Ferrell while taking a shower.
2004 - Dolly Parton joined Rod
Stewart for a duet of the old standard on his album 'The Great
American Songbook, Vol. III'.
2009 - Elizabeth Morris of
Australian band Allo' Darlin recorded a stripped back solo version
of the song which appeared on the Indiecater Christmas 2009
2010 - The cast of the
high-school based TV programme Glee gave the song a twist by
recording their version with 2 male leads.