FFS: Canada bans ‘Baby it’s cold outside’

FFS: Canada bans ‘Baby it’s cold outside’


norman lebrecht

December 05, 2018

The Canadian Broadcasting Company has followed two other radio networks in pulling a seasonal favourite from its schedules for what appear to be exaggerated #Metoo reasons.

CBC public affairs head Chuck Thompson said: ‘Song lyrics are always open to interpretation, and we fully acknowledge there are two camps regarding this issue. While we consider both points of view and in light of the times we are living in we have chosen to remove the song, for the time being, from two of our holiday music streams.’

The allegedly offensive lyric are “What’s in this drink?” and “Baby, don’t hold out”, as performed in the musical comedy Neptune’s Daughter. Presumably they haven’t watched the second half of the song.

Or maybe they just needed something to ban for Christmas.



  • Max says:

    Well, simply watching the video clip, you will soon realise, that the woman really wants to leave and is in fact physically held back to do so.
    This is a clear example of “no means yes” and thinking about how big of a deal even today topics like rape in marriage are, I think they are very right to bann this.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Watch the second half. It’s comedy, supposedly.

      • anon says:

        Men are victims too. Poor Jimmy Bennett.

      • Emil says:

        And everyone knows that comedy is static and does not change over time.
        And that songs on the radio are broadcast with videoclip.
        And that interpretation is locked down by the first interpreter in 1949.
        And that making fun of harassment makes it perfectly ok.
        And that the world will collapse if a single public broadcaster refuses to broadcast a single song.

        • Robert Groen says:

          Emil, I worry about you. Just lie down on the sofa and I’ll pop round to the pharmacy to get you something to make you sleep. Busy day talking crap coming up tomorrow….

  • Johncommonsense1 says:

    I think we should ban Goya’s painting ‘Saturn Devouring His Son’… I mean… it is a clear expression of a dysfunctional family where the child is being abused by the father. It is intolerable.

    Also, I want Strauss’ ‘Salome’ to for banned from all opera houses as it perpetuates the idea of the femme fatale!

  • Eric says:

    If you do watch the whole thing (and it’s pointless commenting unless you have), then in the second half the man is far more insistent in wanting to leave than the woman is in the first half of the song.

    • Max says:

      Right…men are the true victims, I forgot.

    • Emil says:

      Ok, even though it’s a BS point, I’m happy to consent this point to you: both examples of harassment here are wrong. Happy now?

    • Scotty says:

      That’s this movie version. In the popular song, usually the one with Ray Charles and Betty Carter, there’s no role reversal.

      • Bruce says:

        This version, with Ray Charles & Dionne Warwick, is a lot of fun. She’s flirting just as hard as he is. Her vibe is “C’mon, Ray, hurry up and talk me into it. I haven’t got all night.”


        (Note that in their announcement, the CBC acknowledges there is more than one way to understand the song. They’re not going all SJW and proclaiming it a rape song pure & simple.)

  • Paul Brownsey says:

    They could play the Nina and Frederik version, in which slinky seductive Nina tries to get a buttoned-up Englishman to stay …

  • Rogerio says:

    In a future world, these decisions may be handed over to Artificial Intelligence.
    Probably to keep his job, and “…in the times we are living in…” someone at CBC has run the Artificial Stupidity Algorithm. Better safe than sorry.
    It’s funny how no one raises the issue of censorship directed towards the work of art that is being “removed”.

  • The old myth of seduction is that with enough finesse and pressure a woman can be moved from saying “Don’t. Stop,” to saying “Don’t stop.” The results of this simplistic mindset were all too often catastrophic. The new standard is that one must gauge enthusiasm and behave accordingly well before a woman has to say a blunt no. Won’t this new standard make sex even better and a lot more fun for everyone? The world is changing. Care, empathy, and respect are seldom a bad thing.

    Actually, the “new” more respectful approach is an older one that existed up to WWII. The war brutalized virtually every aspect of society. This also included reshaping our sexual mores in ways that were not always healthy. Perhaps what we are seeing is a gradual healing and return to more sanity from those dark times. It’s not about Puritanism, but about making sex more respectful, caring and fun for everyone.

  • Doug says:

    And another “just in time for the holidays” leftist PC triumph: at least now Democrats in America are no longer afraid to publicly admit who it is they worship:


  • Alex Davies says:

    I’ll tell you what offends me: hearing Christmas songs this early in the year! I heard my first Christmas song of the year, Mary’s Boy Child, as it happens, on 1 December! Later that evening I heard Fairytale of New York. That is a full 24 days before Christmas itself. 24 days! That means three and a half weeks of Christmas songs out of a total of only 52 weeks in the year. A friend tells me that he has his work Christmas party tomorrow.

    It’s one of the reasons (one of many) why I hate Christmas. If Christmas actually began when it is supposed to, at sunset on 24 December, it wouldn’t be so bad. I may even be able to enjoy the old tradition of keeping the decorations up until Candlemas, which does bring some joy to one of the darkest periods of the year. But, in the UK at any rate, the Christmas period kicks off around late September when the municipal Christmas lights go up and Christmas chocolates begin to appear in the aisles of the supermarkets.

    It would be good if we could get back to the old custom of a proper observance of Advent, not so much for religious reasons, as because it used to give a rhythm to the passage of the year. Advent had its own songs, the organ would be silent in church for a month, the clergy wore special coloured vestments, the Advent candles would be lit week by week. It was a month of waiting in quiet and darkness for the explosion of noise and light that would signal the arrival of Christmas at last.

    Finally, aren’t most Christmas songs rubbish anyway? The only ones I can really stand are the old ones: Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and so on.

  • Anon says:

    Ridiculous. So. A ban on black coffee, next?

  • Rustier spoon says:

    Just bonkers!

  • Peter Franken says:

    What about Rudolf Nureyev and Miss Piggy in the sauna? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO1t3Ar941I

  • Paul Brownsey says:

    It’s about a man helping a woman to overcome the unnatural disposition society inflicts on women to stifle their natural sexual feelings.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Well that means missing out on one of Betty Carter’s most famous and charming recordings, the one she made with Ray Charles.

  • I always tuned out around the second “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

  • Larry Dankel says:

    I just heard this other song by Billie Holiday on the radio that seems ripe for banning with lyrics like:
    “I swear, I won’t call no copper
    If I’m beat up by my papa
    Ain’t nobody’s business if I do”
    Why not ban the entire American Songbook and replace it with the Canadian Songbook, as sung by Dudley Do-Right and his Melodic Mounties just to be safe?

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    “Tristan and Isolde” should also be banned, or re-written to eliminate anything to do with love potions and loss of “agency.”

  • Spenser says:

    It’s ridiculous to ban this song.
    You might as well start banning the old Shirley Temple movies, too…

  • V.Lind says:

    I’ve heard it without ever listening to it. It’s a lousy song musically. Is it any loss? (I know, I know, not the point…)

    And by the way it’s Canadian Broadcasting CORPORATION, not Company. In a movie about music, Nashville, the character played by Geraldine Chaplin was indicated as a total phony — at east to non-American audiences and in fairness to their better critics — byt identifying herself as being from the British Broadcasting Company.

  • Robert Groen says:

    We’re all doomed! The crazies are taking over!

  • Rich Patina says:

    Geez! I always expect that winter will bring snow, but these days it apparently brings out the snowflakes.