With the Christmas season now approaching, the holiday songs are starting to be released. Starting it off are Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé, with their release of the classic Christmas duet, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” on the November 17th.
During the Christmas period, it is guaranteed that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” will frequently be played on most music channels and radio stations. Originally, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was not a Christmas song, but rather a romantic winter jazz song. It was first featured in the 1949 musical romantic comedy film, Neptune’s Daughter.
This is one of my favourite Christmas songs to listen to and I enjoy listening to both Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé. When paired together, it should have been a great match and a winner all around. But the combining of the two resulted in a disappointing song and music video.
In the video, Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé are not the main focus; they only make a cameo appearance around the middle of the video when the kids are looking in a mirror. For the rest of the video, our attention is on two young kids playing the romantic leads, which brings the awkward factor into the video.
The video begins with the two kids descending in an elevator to the reception, with the young girl as the guest and the young boy as the bell boy. The boy has a crush on the girl. When she gets off the elevator and walks away, the boy runs after her and attempts to get her attention. After he does, they both start to lip sync along with Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé. Accompanying the lip syncing, the two young leads also perform a cute little dance routine around different areas of the reception.
The video backdrop has been styled to look like a hotel reception from around the 1930s, with all the children dressed in period costumes. This video direction might be because the original version was released in the 1940s, along with the increased interest in fashion from earlier decades.
The kids, the dance routine, and the altered version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has produced a disappointing video. The 1930s concept has been used before for different music videos, and is therefore not an original concept. By using the kids as a focus for the video, Warner Brothers are attempting to turn “Baby It’s Cold Outside” into a more child-friendly song. With the removal of the controversial lyrics, the awkward feeling that some listeners may get when listening to the original version has been reduced. However, using kids as the main focus has given the music video a different level of awkwardness, as the kids are trying to act like serious adults, rather than kids who have crushes on each other.
The quality of the music video is very good, however, as the music video set has been built to look like an authentic 1930s hotel reception. The editing of the music video is also nice. The video has a smooth flow to it, with the two kids dancing from one scene to another.
Another positive note is that the music score has not been altered and was kept very close to the original 1949 version. Most listeners of the song are more used to the 1999 version released by Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews, with Cerys Matthews’ deeper, smokier singing. Listeners are able to tell that Idina Menzel is singing in a higher key.
The most obvious disappointment with the song is the lyrical change. The lyrics, “Say, what’s in this drink?” and “I ought to say no no no, sir” have been changed to “Say, was that a wink?” and “I ought to get home for dinner.” The former lyrical change can be overlooked because it sounds very similar to the original lyrics. However, the latter one is more obvious, and can’t really be ignored as it throws the rest of the verse. The changes have caused a divide among fans. Some do not mind the lyrical change and are still able to enjoy the music. Others are not happy with it and believe something has been taken away from the song.