Baby it’s cold outside

Farm Forum

The lyrics to the old song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” by Frank Loesser are as popular today as they were in the 1940’s. It’s a well-liked theme because most people do not like cold weather and thus the song has prompted oodles of singing duets to give their interpretation to the song’s lyrics. It was first sung in 1949 and the latest was performed during this past Christmas season. How’s that for popularity?

Personally, I still prefer the original duet of Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer singing the song. But, whoever sings the words, it’s still a great song with an ageless theme whose title certainly hits the mark in describing our recent weather in South Dakota. However, between the song’s lyrics and our weather, well, a few differences bear noting…

Romantic persuasion not needed

In the original song there is a bantering conversation between a romantic couple with the man trying to persuade the woman to stay with him because it’s cold outside. Comparing the song’s message to our recent cold South Dakota weather, no one in our state needed any romantic persuasion to get the message! South Dakotans didn’t need a crooner like Johnny Mercer, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Buddy Shore or most recently Lady Gaga trying to coax you into spending the night because it was cold outside. You already were inside your house and you were definitely going to stay inside because it was just too blankety, blank cold outside!

Say yes, yes, yes

Most South Dakotans have enough common sense and have had plenty of experience to know that when the wind is blowing out of the northwest and the temperature reads way below zero, that you stay inside where it’s warm. And most South Dakotans wouldn’t play the fragile female part like Margaret Whiting, Doris Day, Martina McBride, or Joseph Gordon-Levitt did in the song and coyly remark, “I really can’t stay,” when they were invited inside. And I know for sure that most South Dakotans wouldn’t be uttering the words, “I really can’t stay,” because most of us wouldn’t be dumb enough to be out in such horrific weather in the first place.

But, sometimes things happen and one does get caught out in a blizzard, thunderstorm, or some other hostile weather condition. When that happens, instead of the song’s words of, “I oughtta say no, no, no” to the invitation to come inside. South Dakotans know enough to cautiously extend and cautiously accept the welcome invitations of safety by saying, “Yes, yes, yes,” to an invitation to come in out of the weather. They know that if they don’t find some shelter from winter’s icy cold blasts; they’re dead.

Br-r-r! Baby it’s cold outside

We have just experienced one of the longest stretches of cold weather in our state’s history. The old timers talk about cold weather and how tough they had it—but hey, I think the bitter cold weather we have just gone through, stacks right up there with the old records.

The good thing about the cold weather in our state; however, is that most of our people know how to handle it. We pile on the layers of clothing, plug in our vehicles at night so they start in the morning, let our vehicles run for a while before starting out for the day, and of course carry emergency kits with us at all times. I’ve even found some great merino wool socks that have kept my ice cube feet warm in this frigid weather. Trust me: wool socks are a definite good buy idea to keep in mind the next time you go shopping.

She rules; we just live here

Most South Dakotans are not irresponsible when it comes to the weather. We don’t try to fight it; instead, we just try to live with the weather. For example, when South Dakotans make any type of plans for attending an event at this time of year, they always end their conversation with the words: “depends upon the weather” or “weather permitting.” South Dakotans know that they have to consider Mother Nature’s wishes first before anything else. She rules; we just live here.


Thankfully, the frigid cold season won’t last forever. For you ice fishermen, snowmobilers, skiers, and snow enthusiasts, enjoy the season while it is here. For the rest of us, read, cogitate, write, or relax to some comedic music. In all cases, practice winter safety first and remember to take care of yourself because “Baby it’s cold outside.”

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. E-mail her at: