John Legend isn’t about to let some creepy lyrics ruin a slammin’ melody.
In a new Vanity Fair cover profile featuring the singer, his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and their two children, Luna, 3, and Miles, 1, it was revealed that Legend is releasing a Christmas album called A Legendary Christmas with all of the classics — including the 1944 hit written by Frank Loesser, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
In the #MeToo era, however, many have taken issue with the lyrics that were written for a male and female duo, arguing that they promote rape culture by pressuring the woman in the song to “stay,” even after she wonders “what’s in this drink” and then unambiguously sings,“The answer is no.”
To sidestep the controversy, however, the famously liberal Legend — who sings on the track with Kelly Clarkson — and writer Natasha Rothwell altered the words to imbue them with a more feminist slant.
“What will my friends think...” sings Clarkson, per VF.
“I think they should rejoice,” Legend responds.
“...if I have one more drink?”
“It’s your body, and your choice.”
The rewrite has yet to be released, but writer Karen Valby notes that it’s “every bit as fun and swinging as the original, and its newfound sensitivity feels genuine, not performative.”
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in its current version has been banned by some radio stations which have deemed the lyrics sexist, inciting a nationwide controversy and giving fuel to the far right’s “war on Christmas” theories. Leave it to Legend, however, to find a solution that could bring peace to all.