John Legend updated “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for 2019 — right down to calling an Uber.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan
6 min readDec 7, 2019
from JillWellington / pixabay

It’s late 2019, and I’m bringing this to you a little later than I originally planned.

Now that Halloween and Thanksgiving have gone to bed and people are throwing out their tired pumpkins, it’s time for the next big thing.

You know what it is. Whether or not you celebrate, you will be surrounded by Christmas for the next two months, if not longer (especially since I’m counting all the post-holiday sales that seem to drag on forever; sometimes those sales feel more dramatic than Black Friday, but maybe that’s just me).

In case your favorite local stores haven’t already been overrun, let me remind you: soon your grocery store aisles, and home decor, toy, and electronic departments will be hyper-decorated with sales, Santa references, and lit Christmas decorations.

And let’s not forget the Christmas music: the same three or four songs played over and over again.

But this year, there may actually be a fourth or fifth song — or, let’s be honest, maybe one of those previous rotating jams will be pulled — now that John Legend and Kelly Clarkson have dropped a new-hit-actually-rendition-of-an-oldie-but-goodie-turned-rapist-song.

Doesn’t this just SCREAM “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to you? from JillWellington / pixabay

That’s right: John Legend reworked “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” for 2019, though what he actually did was kept the same back-and-forth composition everyone loves and updated the lyrics, to make them more consensual.

The lyrics also touch up the relatability factor a bit, placing Kelly Clarkson’s character still in her family home, but with questions about why she still lives there.

Up to this point in the song, it may sound fairly promising for a song that’s being updated from 1953 to 2019 (quick math: it’s a 66-year difference).

But now let’s move into the more problematic stuff: the contemporary references, in my mind, are way over-the-top, and John Legend’s attempt at transforming song lyrics that apparently contributed to normalizing rape culture to lyrics that signal a consensual…

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

A Dino Poet, Novelist, Book Reviewer, Double EIC, & Midwestern Girl in Croatia. THE DUPLEX out now!