Seems like lots of people are up in arms about this Christmas song this year. I heard even the composers daughter has felt compelled to defend her father. How sad is that? Defending her dead father because of the way people now choose to view a song written in 1944.
It’s been suggested the song was actually written by Loesser to sing with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their housewarming party in New York City at the Navarro Hotel, to indicate to guests that it was time to leave.
It’s been viewed as a critique of drinking alcohol.
Other have suggested over the years it was a critique of a society which shunned women who spent the night willingly with their boyfriend or fiances.
And really, the lyrics can be read many ways.
In the study of history, we talk about something called temporal chauvinism. That’s where you judge the people of the past by the standards of today. A simple example is people used to bathe weekly at best, frequently once a month or less. By today’s standards, ewwww. But that was a norm then.
So when I look at the lyrics to this song, and I think 1944, I hear a woman who actually wants to stay but is afraid of what society will say about her if she does what she wants. She’s looking for any excuse to stay. And the man, a problem solver, is giving her many options to choose from.
Think of the privilege we women now enjoy that we can interpret the lyrics as something bad because spending the night with a man is a choice we can freely make.