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Baby It's Cold Outside Christmas Song

Baby It's Cold Outside

Year: 1944

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 The Boys'.

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 compilation.

2010 - The cast of the high-school based TV programme Glee gave the song a twist by recording their version with 2 male leads.