John Legend has teamed up with fellow "Voice" coach to remake a classic Christmas song. The song was featured in a recent Vanity Fair interview with the singer.
Written by Frank Loesser in 1944, the classic Christmas duet is about a man who tries to convince a woman to spend the night at his place, because it's too cold to leave. The woman gives a series of excuses why she must go. Over the years, the duet has been performed by a number of famous duos, including Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton, Ray Charles and Better Carter and Lady Gaga and Joseph-Gordon Levitt.
The author of the Vanity Fair article, Karen Valby, describes the song as a "date-rapey" choice for Legend to choose to play. However, Legend reveals that there are new lyrics to this version, written by him and Natasha Rothwell and performed by him and Kelly Clarkson.
"What will my friends think..." Clarkson sings.
"I think they should rejoice," Legend responds
"...if I have one more drink," Clarkson continues
"It's your body, and your choice," Legend adds.
The original line in the song had the woman sing "Say, what's in this drink?" and has been receiving more and more backlash in recent years. In 2018, several radio stations decided to take the song off air.
However, supporters of the song point out the song needs to be read through the lens of its time, when women were not allowed to be openly sexual. In 2018, Chris Wilman wrote in Variety that the song is "feminist, really" saying the song "is the story of a woman doing battle — not with a guy who won’t take no for an answer, but with the expectations of a society that won’t take yes for an answer." The woman wants to stay, but cannot overtly express her sexuality, and the man is giving her the appropriate excuses she needs in order to stay without guilt.