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Singer Deana Martin, daughter of the legendary Dean Martin, has few kind words to say about John Legend’s feminist, #MeToo friendly update of the Christmas classic, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
“You do not change the lyrics to the song,” Deana Martin told “Good Morning Britain,” as reported by Fox News. “He’s made it more sexual with those words that he has just said. It’s absolutely absurd.”
Speaking with Vanity Fair, Legend revealed last week that he and songwriter Natasha Rothwell rewrote the song to reflect a more woke mindset – one that will include such feminist lyrics as, “it’s your body, and your choice.” He performed the male voice while Kelly Clarkson performed the female.
“The new lyrics hear Clarkson sing ‘What will my friends think?,’ with Legend replying: ‘I think they should rejoice.’ Kelly, 37, then sings: ‘… if I have one more drink?,’ with John singing: ‘It’s your body, and your choice,’” Metro reported of the song changes.
In 1959, Dean Martin transformed the Frank Loesser song (originally written for “Neptune’s Daughter”) into a Christmas staple that, to this day, remains the most popular iteration. Last year alone, even as controversy about the song raged throughout the culture, the Dean Martin version still saw a 257% increase in sales.
In the same interview with “Good Morning Britain,” Deana Martin lamented how Legend’s version disrespects artist Frank Loesser’s original intent as well as her father’s legacy.
“I think what he’s done is, he’s stealing the thunder from Frank Loesser’s song and from my dad,” said Martin. “He should write his own song if he doesn’t like this one, but don’t change the lyrics. It’s a classic, perfect song.”
“[Dean] would say it’s absurd. I think John should’ve just left it alone,” she added.
Deana Martin’s denunciation of the new version essentially echoes the criticisms made by Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy) earlier this week, who also said that Legend should have left the song alone.
“To change an innocent lyric, to what is it, ‘Your mind and your body’? What the hell are you on? That’s ridiculous,” Osbourne said. “I have to tell you, I love John Legend. I love John Legend’s wife, his family. He’s an amazing artist that I really respect. Why do you do this? That’s not right.”
Speaking with Fox News, Deana Martin thanked fans of her father’s song for helping to popularize it again last year.
“I’d like to thank everyone for helping bring my father Dean Martin’s original version of ‘Baby’s It’s Cold Outside’ back to the top of the Billboard charts in 2018,” she told the outlet. “Dean’s song is included in his hugely successful 1959 album ‘Winter Romance,’ and I’m very proud that it has become an evergreen favorite that is played every holiday season.”
“I personally love performing ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and will continue to do so,” she continued. “This song is a cute, flirtatious and romantic song written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and it won the Oscar for best original song in the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter.’ It has been recorded by dozens of the world’s top recording artists for over 60 years. Happy Holidays to all!”