Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside (Again)

Longtime readers might recall I'm partial to the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside", which I find the charming holiday equivalent of The Continental from Saturday Night Live. Lacking that Christopher Walken magic, this admittedly cheesy song might not be quite as tasty as Walken at his best, but it's still a fun holiday classic... for some reason.

It's odd that it should seem likeable. An annoyingly coy, possibly nicotine-addicted woman keeps saying she really has to leave a guy's house following a date, and keeps not leaving. She lists several reasons she must take her leave. The guy is unresponsive to the reasons, instead nagging her to stay by throwing her a couple compliments and by making her think she might die of pneumonia if she doesn't stick around.

He increases the odds of her getting pneumonia (or least becoming very chilly) by:
- delaying her (the later she leaves, the colder it will be)
- giving her alcohol
- making her think she can't get a taxi (would she try to walk home?), and
- taking away her hat.

Grim, grim stuff.

It shouldn't work, but neither should peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, and they can be rather good.

The song's lyrics helpfully invite you to dish about anyone who doesn't do it justice. When I first heard Rod Stewart croon, "How can you do this thing to me?" to Dolly Parton, I laughed. She has more right to ask that question of him, as does anyone who has heard his mangled, very sleepy vocals and painful improvised banter (not surprisingly, Parton is much better at improvising. She is particularly believable when she tells Stewart to "Get out of here.")

At least he recruited a singing partner from among the living, unlike Martina McBride, who perhaps sings so quickly during her unfortunate duet with the late Dean Martin because she feels guilty and is just trying to get it over with as quickly as possible.

Most of my favorite versions of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" have some jazz/swing/big band flavor. The song is old-fashioned; it lends itself to music that also feels "retro" to modern ears. Plus, a jazzy treatment infuses the song with elegance. Listening to a version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" backed by a fancy big band is classy. Listening to Barry Manilow sing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is not. That just makes you think "Hey, Barry Manilow is begging a woman to spend the night with him. For sex-related purposes!" Something just doesn't seem right about that.

Women throw their underwear at him; why would Barry Manilow waste so much time coaxing this chick? But then Charlie Sheen had sex with a lot of prostitutes. There's an odious comparison. A holiday song shouldn't force us to ponder such unmerry thoughts unless it's for a good cause.

Perhaps hating the song for one or many of the reasons I've mentioned, Filegunner steadfastly refused to upload song after song yesterday, all assorted versions of "Baby".

So instead there are a bunch of "Baby"s at http://drop.io/coldoutside (some new; some repeats from years past.) The password is kofis-hat. You can listen to and download any or all of the songs, individually. The downloads, when I checked them, were very fast. Please let me know if you have any trouble with them.


Blogger xolondon said...

Poor Barry. I think his audience still buys into it. Even though he is actually now an old lesbian! :)

Hope you'll do a best of list this year. Subtle hint.

4:55 AM  
Blogger trill42 said...

I do (occasionally), and I do (every so often), and I do (now and again) for you kids and this is the thanks I get?

Yeah, I'm definitely going to will-it-blend my favorite '07 music into a best-of list (or two) by Valentine's Day.

Regarding Mr. Manilow, I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about... or possibly that you don't know what you're talking about, but I'm not a betting woman.

3:19 PM  

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