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Radio station to play ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ on continuous loop Christmas Day

"Baby It's Cold Outside" performed by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban in the 1949 film "Neptune's Daughter." | YouTube

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" performed by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban in the 1949 film "Neptune's Daughter." | YouTube

As a growing number of listeners and radio stations say “no, no, no” to playing the Christmas tune “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” some Louisville radio stations are saying “yes, yes, yes.”

Whether you like it or not, classic hits station WAKY-FM will play the Christmas tune on repeat beginning Sunday morning, said Chris Randolph, one of the station’s disc jockeys.

WAKY, on 103.5 and 100.1 FM, will spin different versions of the song over and over for several hours on Sunday, Randolph said.

“Everyone just seems so sensitive to the lyrics of the song, and we just thought everybody should calm down,” Randolph said. “These stations pulling the song, it’s absolutely ludicrous.”

The Christmas tune written by Frank Loesser in 1944 has been banned by radio stations around the country and in Canada for its lyrics that some say promote date rape and are inappropriate amid the #MeToo movement.

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“Even if the intentions aren’t sinister, it’s simply exhausting to be a woman in that situation,” USA TODAY’s Mary Nahorniak wrote last year. “Many women know what it’s like to feel trapped by a man, whether emotionally or physically. In those situations, it doesn’t matter how it began or why she wants to leave, it only matters that she wants to go, now.”

But those in favor of keeping the song on the airwaves argue that context is important and the song had a different meaning when it was written more than 70 years ago.

The song has even made a comeback in several markets after listeners voted to keep the song on the airwaves.

Louisville station WVEZ-FM – known as 106.9 Play and “Louisville’s Original Christmas Music Station” – plays four different versions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” during the holiday season, said Lee Cagle, operations manager of SummitMedia Louisville, which owns WVEZ.

“We’ve not had one single complaint about the song,” Cagle said. “I personally think people are looking for things to be offended by.”

Cagle pointed to complaints that another classic Christmas tune and film, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” features bullying and sexism.

“I’m waiting to see which other song people start complaining about,” Cagle said.

As Christmas approaches, Randolph said WAKY hopes to spread “a little holiday cheer” by playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on loop.

“We don’t take life too seriously, and we attract that type of listener,” Randolph said. “It’s all just out of fun.”

Billy Kobin, Gannett