Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beautiful, please don't worry.

Time for a new song comparison! Yay!! Since Thanksgiving has passed, it is now officially time to start listening to Christmas music. I wanted to do this post before everyone got tired of Christmas songs. It happens to be one of my favorite wintry songs and I think it's a little silly to be considered a Christmas song, but I guess it makes more sense than "My Favorite Things." Now, I've got a long list of comparisons, so buckle up!

The song is: Baby, It's Cold Outside. It was originally written by Frank Loesser and was primarily performed by Loesser and his wife at parties. When Loesser sold the song to MGM to use in Neptune's Daughter, his wife was furious. I've heard her anger abated, however, when the song won an Academy Award. It should also be noted that in the music, the parts are written as "the mouse" and "the wolf."

1. Here's how the song was originally performed in Neptune's Daughter with Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams.

It's probably unnecessary for me to say that this is my favorite version of the song. It is, pure and simple, the original intent of the song, and I like that. I like that I have complete confidence in the mouse to handle herself around the wolf. I actually really like Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban as a pair, period. He's so sure of himself and so flirtatious but she's completely independent and able to take care of herself. A fun fact about this scene is that one of Ricardo's lines leading into the song is, "lovely lady, soft music, a warm summer's evening. You know, for an evening that started out so badly, it has definite possibilities." I love it because it gives the song a whole new twist. Well, maybe not twist. But it makes it much more humorous that he's trying to argue that it's too cold to go out when it's the middle of summer! After he sings his first line, she gives him this incredulous look like, "are you kidding me?" So funny! I love it! Okay, so that's number 1.

2. The duet immediately following this one pans over to Esther's sister, played by Betty Garrett, who is busy romancing Red Skelton (who, by the way, she thinks is Ricardo Montalban).

I think it's funny that this song is often performed this way - with the girl playing the wolf role. I love Betty Garrett. She's so cute! I like this version a lot in that I love the way they play around with the coats. It's very clever, I think. She keeps getting him to take the coat off.

3. The third film version of this song, from the movie Elf.

Other than the two versions in the original film, I find that this version is the freshest and most original. While they're singing the same words, the scene has a totally different feel. Ironically, it's potentially the sexiest scene, just because she's in the shower while she's singing - yet because the movie is the way it is, and the way the scene is played, all that comes out of this scene is innocence. That's what's so great about this version of the song: it's innocent. I don't think any other rendition of this song has that claim! And it's so sweet and kind of romantic the way he's singing along. So cute!

4. Last version I'm going to share is from television, so it's a little different than my usual set-up in that way, but it's worth a look. I should explain, first, that I am not a Glee fan. I've actually only ever seen the pilot episode. Nothing against Glee, it's just not my style. But, they did do a rather unique twist on an old classic. They performed it with two guys. Same basic idea. They sound great together. It's mostly odd to me because the mouse character does not seem at all opposed to the idea of being seduced by the wolf, but maybe that's the point. Perhaps that's an added twist. Who knows? What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. This is also my favorite holiday song. I think the first time I heard it was in 1986 when Sigourney Weaver & Buster Poindexter performed it on SNL ( But the Ann-Margret/Al Hirt version is my absolute favorite!


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