US singers John Legend and Kelly Clarkson have recorded an updated version of the Christmas hit Baby, It’s Cold Outside which ran into controversy with the #MeToo movement.
The song, written in 1944, takes the form of a back-and-forth conversation between a man and a woman.
It was suggested one line – “Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)” – could refer to date rape.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Legend said he and writer Natasha Rothwell had penned some new lyrics for the song and he had recorded it with Clarkson.
He said the new version included the lines: “What will my friends think? (I think they should rejoice) / If I have one more drink? (It’s your body, and your choice).”
The new version will feature on Legend’s seasonal album A Legendary Christmas.
Last year’s controversy began when the Star 102 radio station in Cleveland, Ohio, removed Baby It’s Cold Outside from its playlist following complaints.
Critics saw it as the story of a man pressuring a woman into spending the night with him when she doesn’t want to.
Station host Glenn Anderson blogged that although the song was written in a different era, the lyrics felt “manipulative and wrong”.
He said at the time: “The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
The song, written by Frank Loesser in 1944, was recorded for the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter and won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1950.
It has been covered by Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé, Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews, and actors Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the movie Elf.
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