It’s interesting how lyrics and how people feel about them can change overtime.
I think the most obvious song to use for this example is “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. It would be so easy to cast this off as ‘Millennials over-reacting’. I’m not sure it’s all Millennials however, we usually get the brunt of criticism.
I loved singing along to this as a kid, and if I hear it playing chances are I’ll continue to sing along. As I got older I began to question it but shrugged it off.
Of course, nowadays people don’t shrug things off. For me, I always think about the intent behind the action. Of course people can do things which are hurtful, and if you’re hurt of course that’s not right and no-one should tell you how to feel.
However, sometimes when I hear or see something directed towards me I think “Hmm, OK that sucks but…” or “That isn’t the right way to say it however, I understand what they mean”. That’s it for me. What is the intent behind what they’re saying. If I’m uncomfortable or annoyed, you’ll know it. But if you’re not intending to be hurtful or malicious I will always try to take that into account. I don’t know why, it’s just a thing I do.
That’s kind of how I feel about these lyrics. Did the person who wrote the song in 1944 intend for it to come off as it has done in 2019? Of course not! 1944 was a completely different time and people had completely different values and beliefs.
“The neighbours might think (baby, it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)”
“I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)“
These are just two examples, I could pick out a few more. For example, the amount of times she says no and one lyric says “The answer is no” and he still continues to pressure her to stay.
Times have changed and people now will come under fire for saying things like this. Because sure, it was once a sweet song about a guy infatuated with a girl however, now it has a distinct undertone of creepiness to it.
I will also say I do think it’s fair to call it out. It doesn’t necessarily mean people can’t enjoy the song if they genuinely like listening to it for any number of reasons however, it’s always good to be aware or mindful of how lyrics like this could affect others.
It’s good to acknowledge these things. All it means is that we are continuously moving forward and evolving as people.