Dean Martin’s daughter, Deana Martin, is not happy with John Legend and Kelly Clarkson’s take on her father’s Christmas classic.
Legend recently played a new version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” he recorded with Clarkson during an interview with Vanity Fair.
Written by Frank Loesser in 1944, the classic Christmas duet is about a man who tries to convince a woman to spend the night at his place, because it’s too cold to leave. The woman gives a series of excuses why she must go. Over the years, the duet has been performed by a number of famous duos, including Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton, Ray Charles and Better Carter and Lady Gaga and Joseph-Gordon Levitt.
The song has received backlash in recent years, with some saying the line where the woman asks “What’s in this drink” hasn’t aged well.
The line was replaced with a new verse in Legend’s version:
“What will my friends think…” Clarkson sings.
“I think they should rejoice,” Legend responds
“…if I have one more drink,” Clarkson continues
“It’s your body, and your choice,” Legend adds.
In an interview with “Good Morning Britain,” Martin called the rewrites “absurd.”
“He’s stealing the thunder from Frank Loesser’s song and from my dad,” she said. “He should write his own song if he doesn’t like this one. Don’t change the lyrics.”
“My dad didn’t care about things like that,” she added. “He would have said it was absurd. I think John should have just left it alone.”
Other supporters of the song have pointed out the lyrics need to be read through the lens of it’s time, when women were not allowed to be openly sexual. In 2018, Chris Wilman wrote in Variety that the song is “feminist, really” saying the song “is the story of a woman doing battle — not with a guy who won’t take no for an answer, but with the expectations of a society that won’t take yes for an answer.” The woman wants to stay, but cannot overtly express her sexuality, and the man is giving her the appropriate excuses she needs in order to stay without guilt.