By Nate Day
Published October 28, 2019
Last year, the 1944 classic, written by Frank Loesser, sparked debate over lyrics some say have grown problematic over the years over the notion of consent.
In the tune, which has been covered by many artists since its debut, a female sings: "I really can’t stay,” to which a man responds: "But baby, it’s cold outside.” In another part of a song, a woman is heard singing lines like "Say what's in this drink?", "The answer is no" and "I've gotta get home."
For his version, Legend updated the lyrics with Nathasha Rothwell, who writes and stars in HBO's "Insecure."
“What will my friends think ...” Clarkson sings in the updated version.
“I think they should rejoice,” Legend says.
“... if I have one more drink?”
“It’s your body and your choice.”
Vanity Fair, which got to hear a sneak peek of the song, said it's "every bit as fun and swinging as the original, and its newfound sensitivity feels genuine, not performative."
The lyric updates run throughout the song.
Last November, a Cleveland radio station, WDOK, withdrew the song from its lineup after a listener expressed concern over the standard's lyrics.
“It wasn't really our decision," WDOK host Desiray told Fox 8 at the time. "It's the decision of our listeners."
She continued: "People might say, ‘Oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it's not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of a situation. The tune might be catchy, but let's maybe not promote that sort of an idea."
Meanwhile, criticism of the song drew backlash from some, with actor Dennis Quaid saying it was "going a little far" to call it problematic, and Dean Martin's daughter, Deena, saying she "was absolutely flabbergasted" that critics wanted the number scrapped.
The song will be featured on Legend's forthcoming expanded version of "A Legendary Christmas: The Deluxe Edition," which will drop on Nov. 8. Clarkson featured the traditional version of the song on her Christmas album "Wrapped in Red" in 2013.