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msh's avatar

This song is a holiday tradition, even though it doesn't necessarily mention Christmas. What is your favorite version?

Asked by msh (4262points) December 6th, 2015 from iPhone

This song always seems to be popular around this time of year. It’s been sung by everyone and their mother for the last two gazillion and six years.

Do you have a version that you prefer? Which version’s singers?

This is an earlier version of the song sung by Ann Margaret and the great jazz musician; Al Hirt.
I first saw them perform this song together waaay back on a television show. I was lucky to have seen it performed.
Enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVfrtmzpOuY&sns=em

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34 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Never heard of it
I hate it

SavoirFaire's avatar

It’s a song about date rape. No version of it is enjoyable.

JLeslie's avatar

The version you linked is very unsettling. A man trying to convince a woman to stay so he can get her into bed basically.

There is a new version with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett for a Barnes and Noble commercial that’s cute.

marinelife's avatar

^^^This is a weird reaction to a classic song.^^^

My favorite version is the one by the song’s author Frank Loesser dueting with his wife Lynn, a club singer. It was originally written for a houseparty the couple threw.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I’m not the only one with that reaction, did you read other answers?

marinelife's avatar

@JLeslie I thought all three answers were weird (thus, three up arrows). By the way, you all three have dirty minds as the song just asks her to stay, but it doesn’t say anything about sex.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@marinelife This critique has been around for a long time. When the song was written, the composer labelled the male part “wolf” and the female part “mouse.” So the idea of predator and prey is etched right into the origins of the song. All you have to do is listen carefully.

marinelife's avatar

@SavoirFaire I stand by my contention that you all have dirty minds. It’s a flirty, innocent party song.

ucme's avatar

Not my cuppa tea, i’m more of a coffee man see.

JLeslie's avatar

@marinelife I didn’t realize three arrows, means all three answers. I might be using those arrows wrong.

Between a married couple it is more acceptable, but I can picture Ann Margaret singing that song in that slow rhythm of the song they did the duet in, and add in her persona was sex pot. She was gorgeous, I really like her, I’m not criticizing her negatively.

Isn’t there a line in the song about people or neighbors talking? Meaning gossiping about her staying?

The female line is that she should go, not that they should go, just her, and he is convincing her to stay. Stay for what? Why do men spend so much time to convince a woman to stay? I can think of two reasons, either they are worried about safety for some reason, not expressed in this song, or they want to have sex.

It doesn’t matter if you think we have dirty minds, the point is the song had a dirty undertone.

JLeslie's avatar

Just to add, even though it was written and sung by Loesser, and preformed by he and his wife, it doesn’t change it’s about a man trying to convince a woman not to do what she believes she should do. Even in marriage, especially then, women are coerced and controlled too often. It doesn’t have to be about sex, it’s a problem with many things.

janbb's avatar

It’s clearly a seduction song but I wouldn’t characterize it as a date rape song. We do well to look at things through the cultural perspective of the times they were made in and there are a number of flirtatious songs that are subtly sexual which I find kind of charming. The convention was that women had to be wooed.

I did hear one on the radio a few years ago exhorting men to buy the girl another drink to get sex that was quite blatant but this one I find kind of sweetly sexy.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@marinelife You can stand by whatever false contention you’d like. But I listened to the song for years without noticing this. It was pointed out to me. So your assumption is baseless.

@janbb The cultural perspective of the time was that women didn’t have bodily autonomy. Just because they wouldn’t have called it date rape doesn’t mean it wasn’t. Sexual harassment went unprosecuted for a long time just because it didn’t have a name. But surely you’re not going to say that it therefore wasn’t happening, right?

janbb's avatar

I think there’s seduction and there’s date rape. The second song I cited was clearly about date rape. I don’t think all seduction is date rape.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree not date rape, and a sign of the times, and the Barnes and Noble commercial has zero emphasis on sex, but the original writing is a reminder of how women couldn’t, or shouldn’t, follow their own minds, or that they couldn’t voice what they wanted and had to act coy. It wasn’t a great time for women in my opinion.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The original song also contains a possible reference to a drink being spiked with something to erode the woman’s ability to resist.

canidmajor's avatar

@SavoirFaire: can you link to that version with a “possible reference…” I’ve heard a boatload of versions and I don’t remember that one.
I’m with @janbb in the Seduction camp.

JLeslie's avatar

I think in the song he asks her to stay for a drink, not spike the drink. It can imply get a little more tipsy so I have more of a chance with you, or at minimum a little more time so I can keep trying.

I’ll try to google the lyrics so we can all stop guessing.

Edit: I found this I don’t know if there are any changes from the original. I really don’t see how there is a question about the sexual implications.

Seek's avatar

“Say, what’s in this drink?”

That line has always bothered me.

Seek's avatar

Yeah, over and over in the song he references how she shouldn’t hurt his pride, even after her very clear “the answer is no”.

Gross.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor Can you link a version without it? I’m just curious to see various versions. I’d be most curious in the original version. I’m not sure I came across it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@canidmajor It’s the line that @Seek mentioned: “say, what’s in this drink?” When joined with the fact that the characters are named Wolf and Mouse and the Wolf’s refusal to accept “no” for an answer, the line is rather suggestive. I agree that the line probably wasn’t written with the conscious intention of promoting date rape. But that’s the thing about sexism and rape culture—they survive by floating just below our consciousness.

canidmajor's avatar

You guys are so young. “Say what’s in this drink”, although suggestive of spiking in this exact context in this discussion was just basically used as a general delaying phrase, back in the day. It could mean “I need a second to gather my thoughts” or, teasingly, (and more in tune with the times) “Oooh, I’ll use having another drink as an excuse to do what I wanted to, anyway, convince me!” Or even, the simplest version, “This is tasty, what’s in it?”
We were not nearly as naive or malleable as some would believe. There used to be a whole back-and-forth seduction dance willingly played by both.

I have been advocating for women’s rights longer than some of you have been alive, and, in context with the times, this really reads like a consensual give and take. In today’s parlance, maybe not so much, but 40 or 50 years ago, yeah.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I accept your explanation, but I still don’t like the game. She has to say no enough times so she doesn’t seem easy, or so she has acknowledged she knows she shouldn’t. She puts out their her parents wouldn’t approve, although presumably she is an adult.

Seek's avatar

Guess what? I’m not living 40 or 50 years ago. I’m living now. And when I say “No, I have to go home, people are expecting me and it would be unfair of me to make them worry in order to appease YOUR GODDAMN PRIDE.” I mean fucking no.

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SavoirFaire's avatar

@canidmajor “I have been advocating for women’s rights longer than some of you have been alive”

Leaving the ageist fallacy aside, the person who first pointed out the nastier aspects of the song to me was my aunt. She’s older than you. And for the record, my grandmother also hated the song and always thought something about it was a bit off. When my aunt explained the negative reading of the song at Christmas one year, she found it revelatory and thought it put into words something she had always vaguely sensed.

@msh “The thought that seems to be missed by many who hear this song, is that the lady in question has shown up at the gentleman’s residence by her own choosing.”

Saying yes to a date is not the same as saying yes to sex, and a woman accepting an invitation into a man’s house doesn’t give him an excuse to rape her. I would have thought this was obvious.

SavoirFaire's avatar

And again, I am not saying that the song is a conscious attempt to depict or even suggest date rape. I also doubt that men in the 50s went to work consciously thinking “I’m going to sexually harass my secretary today.” In fact, they couldn’t have done so—the term “sexual harassment” didn’t exist until the 1970s. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t ever sexually harass their secretaries, however, and it doesn’t mean that the song doesn’t have an undertone of date rape. In fact, the historical era in which it was written increases the chances that it might unintentionally suggest such a thing (since the viewpoint of women wasn’t really given much weight at the time). Loesser might not have seen the Wolf’s inability to take no for an answer as problematic, but that doesn’t mean it was okay.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t you know? No means maybe.

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Seek's avatar

All right, kids.

Someone asked which version of a song others like. Someone responded “none, as the song is a bit rapey”.

This is not a reason to start world war five.

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