If we look at the text of the song, the woman gives plenty of indication that she wants to stay the night. At the time period the song was written (1936), “good girls,” especially young, unmarried girls, did not spend the night at a man’s house unsupervised. The tension in the song comes from her own desire to stay and society’s expectations that she’ll go. We see this in the organization of the song — from stopping by for a visit, to deciding to push the line by staying longer, to wanting to spend the entire night, which is really pushing the bounds of acceptability. Her beau in his repeated refrain “Baby, it’s cold outside” is offering her the excuses she needs to stay without guilt.
Wow, I could almost have written this article. This is exactly how I feel about this song. I really recommend reading the whole thing. :)
(Warning for references to rape and coercion in the context of “That’s not what this song is about.”)
The one part of the article I could not have written is the part about the meaning of the line “What’s in this drink.” I learned some new context I wasn’t aware of before! Cool!
This is really a great find. I enjoyed reading this so much …