With the holidays recently behind us, you’re probably freshly familiar with this song. If you are, you’re probably wondering how someone like me could possibly advocate for increasing the number of versions of it infesting our airwaves.
If you’re not...
In overlapping counterpoint, a man and a woman argue over the woman staying the night with the man, him trying to convince her to stay because of the storm. It’s very playful and cutesy and usually played at Christmas, and features such adorable lines as “Hey, what’s in this drink?” and “The answer is no.”
Yeah, it’s a cutesy upbeat Christmas date rape song.
There are plenty of covers of the original recording that all sound more or less the same, including one released last year featuring Idina Menzel. Yes, the voice behind such beloved feminist icons of our time as Elphaba and Elsa of Arendelle.
I’m not making this up.
The Imaginary Remake:
Thankfully, the world contains enough sanity and decency, and this song is so inescapably reprehensible, that parody versions pointing out the fact that it’s a rape scene do already exist.
But what I’m proposing is a little different.
My favorite, imaginary remake retains the original lyrics, the original tight musical construction (the song really is technically beautifully done). It’s a faithful performance of the original piece, only it isn’t cute. It isn’t merry. It’s the chilling musical scene the original has always secretly been.
Oh, we can start out playful and flirty enough. Everyone’s having a grand old time right up until “Hey, what’s in this drink?”
Our female lead’s demeanor goes suddenly serious. Our male (a particularly brave singer/actor) need only sleaze things up. So pretty much exactly the original.
The roofies kick in before the audience’s eyes, the female lead grows gradually less rational and eventually less conscious. On the line “Maybe just a cigarette more,” she lights one and smokes with the obvious air of trying to clear her head. Her verses about how suspicious all her family members will be are delivered more as a threat than a lament.
Our male lead’s stage directions are written right into the lyrics. “I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice” has him holding them a little too tightly when she’s trying to back away. “I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell” has him taking her hat, maybe her purse and her coat off her hands to make her less prepared to leave.
The only deviation from the original arrangement is the omission of the female voice in the final iteration of the chorus, because by that time she’s passed out cold on the couch and the curtains are coming down.
The classic delivery of this song deserves to be mocked and criticized in every possible way, but nothing could show the scene for what it is more effectively than the scene itself.
And after all, it is cleverly and catchily written.
Agree? Disagree? Comments are always welcome! Or keep up with my fictional musings by joining me on Facebook, on Twitter, or by signing up for email updates in the panel on the right!