6 Days Until Christmas
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is another one of those Christmas songs that doesn’t mention Christmas at all. Some folks have decided the song is creepy, but I’m with the gang who say it’s actually a liberating lyric. The guy and the gal want to spend some time together and the subtext is that they’re working on excuses to use if she doesn’t go home.
Originally, Frank Loesser (“Heart and Soul,” “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”) would sing the song at parties with his wife, Lynn Garland. Loesser put the song in the 1949 romantic comedy “Neptune’s Daughter” and it won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Original Song. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is actually in the movie twice. First, sung by Ricardo Montalbán and Esther Williams. Then, in a switch-up, Red Skelton is the one who wants to go and Betty Garrett (Edna Babish on “Laverne & Shirley”) wants him to stay.
Anyway, I tell you all that to tell you this… My favorite version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is from the 2011 charity album “Home for the Holidays.” Organized by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway stars from shows including “Rent,” “The Producers,” “42nd Street,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Dreamgirls” and more cover holiday classics.
From two different generations of “Cabaret,” here’s Alan Cumming and Liza Minnelli – both from the album and a live version caught on a Flip camera. (Remember those?)