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December 22nd, 2011
06:46 PM ET

Letters to the President #1067: 'Baby, it's cold'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is preparing for Christmas like most of the rest of us. Well, not exactly “like” but he’s getting ready anyway. And no doubt that means keeping up with my letters to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Is it just me, or have you noticed that every now and then a certain old Christmas song will go through a revival. For years it will mold away on some old album by a long forgotten jazz singer, or maybe on the B side of a John Davidson single (which, to be honest, would be an awful lot like the A side,) then…oh say, it gets folded into the soundtrack of a popular movie and suddenly everyone is on board.

I feel as if that has happened with "Baby, It’s Cold Outside.' This is a song that was written during the 1940s and for a long time the only version I’d ever heard was by Dean Martin. Now, however, it is all over the place.

There are versions by all sorts of contemporary artists, and in some cases little known versions by past artists are just getting scads of airplay on satellite radio, and Pandora, and places like that. Probably my favorite, newer version is the one by Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone. In part that’s because I just think spending a Christmas evening hanging with Leon Redbone would be a hoot, and if Zooey Deschanel happened to lurking around it would certainly constitute a Facebook moment.

“Hey, sweetie, can you come over to the diner? Yeah…Leon and Zooey are here. We’re having a blast!”

I read on Wikipedia that it was originally just a little novelty number that this songwriter, Frank Loesser, would sing with his wife at parties and it actually had nothing to do with Christmas. And yet now everyone knows it, and it plays right alongside Jingle Bells, Backdoor Santa, and all the rest.

Well, things change I guess.

I saw the video of you out Christmas shopping. Are you done yet? If not, give me a call on your way to the mall. Seems like forever since we’ve talked. Because, uh, it has been. Ha!

Regards,
Tom

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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