Cleveland radio station bans Christmas song

I admit when I saw the headline, I was fervently hoping it was “Gramma Got Ron Over by a Reindeer” or “Christmas Shoes.” This one never occurred to me. Interesting, especially the comment by the woman who apparently thinks being “sensitive” is a character flaw.

There’s a long thread (in Cafe Society?) about people’s problems with that song.

It’s one of those songs where delivery is everything. Don’t want the woman sounding scared or angry, and you don’t want the dude sounding creepy. Dean Martin nailed the guy’s part, imo.

Since when is that a Christmas song?

Having actually read the lyrics just now, I’m surprised its only being banned now.

Hadn’t associated that song with Xmas. It didn’t come to mind as a candidate for banning.

Now I can see PETA getting pissed off about this one.

I’m not sure but I’m thinking the lyric includes “what’s in this drink?” That’s creepy enough in today’s (post Cosby) world.

Over the years I have played this song on the radio many times by many different artists. The most charming version was by Dean Martin. The worst was by KD Lang and Barry Manilow, followed by Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton. (I don’t even want to think about either of those pairings.)

It was intended as a wry song about flirtation, and back in the time it was written, it could be taken in that conext. The most bothersome line is “Say what’s in this drink,” which suggests something quite different now than it did in the 1940s. That was often a throwaway line in many a motion picture, said as a joke. Nowadays, it has a sinister connotation. The song hasn’t changed. Times have. We have.

For my part, I’ve always thought it was somewhat creepy, and had I been putting together a Christmas-y playlist at a radio station, I would have quietly taken it out of rotation years ago. The station in Cleveland made a big deal about doing so, probably for the sole purpose of hyping their “family-friendly” holiday music format. I doubt anyone will miss it.

Fantastic news! Now there’s more room for songs from A Blowfly Christmas!

I loathe this song, and it mystifies me why my wife, who is as feminist and #MeToo as anyone, loves it. Even if “what’s in that drink” is intended as a joke, the male in the song is clearly trying to get the woman drunk for purposes of compelling sex, and the song as a whole reflects the mindset that no doesn’t mean no.

Of course it’s an artifact of its time, but we shouldn’t suspend our critical faculties because it’s old.

I always thought it was kinda cute. But, yeah we’ve moved on.
Now it’s time to get rid of a few more. Top on my list is ‘Gramma got run over’ and anything sang by chipmunks.

In the above-mentioned thread the participants go at length on how when properly performed, what to seems to you “clearly … for purposes of compelling…” is interpreted as an example of the wordplay used at the time to give the lady plausible deniability and save face. Mrs. TSBG probably “gets it” from that POV.

Unfortunately, nowadays the line leads one’s thinking toward date-rape drugs, which weren’t even on the radar when the song was written. Still, in real life today no one’s going to actually ask that question – a would-be rapist won’t answer truthfully, and if there’s truly suspicion the recipient will not drink it regardless. It’s a red herring that prevents some folks from seeing the song as the innocent depiction of mixed emotions that it’s meant to be.

No he isn’t, and frankly that’s a ridiculous assertion. SHE is the one who asks for the drink, and there’s nothing in the song that gives even the slightest hint that he is attempting to ply her with booze.

There’s a tiny bit more to this objection, but still…

She keeps suggesting stalling tactics (a half a drink more, a cigarette more), gives all kinds of reasons (related to societal expectations) why she should go but never says or even remotely implies that she WANTS to go, and rather clearly shows that even when she says “the answer is no” her heart’s not in it.

Yes, and when he says “if you caught pneumonia and died” he’s clearly threatening to spray pneumococcus down her throat.

This is local to me and as you can imagine, people are losing their shit about it online. I was happy when my mom brought it up and her reaction was “I’m glad they got rid of it, it does seem a little creepy to me.” Much different than my dad’s reaction of “DID YOU HEAR THEY BANNED THAT SONG FROM THE RADIO?!”

Anyway, many of us are skeptical that it’s just a publicity stunt by the station. They could have stopped playing it and I guarantee no one would have noticed. But now they’ve publicized the fact and suddenly I am remembering that WDOK is a radio station again (personally I’ve always listened to WMJI at Christmas because they’re 24/7 Christmas as well.)

When there are two or more stations in a city vying for the crown of “THEE Christmas Music Station,” competition can be fierce. A station can double its usual ratings (and rates) with a good showing. WDOK’s target audience is women, roughly 25-54. (Note to your Dad: They don’t much care what he thinks, as your Mom probably controls the radio at home and in the car, and makes most household buying decisions.) WDOK played this beautifully. It’s my understanding they took a poll about the song on their web page and/or Facebook page. However the poll turns out, they win, as they have positioned themselves as the station that is sensitive to the feelings and opinions of their intended audience. The publicity this received is priceless.

I toiled too long in the radio busines to take many shows of altruism seriously, especially the way the business is today. As Hunter S. Thompson once said: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

It was never anywhere near being one of my favorites, anyway, so I don’t really care.

Au contraire.

I think there’s a strong hint that he’s attempting to ply her with booze, depending on what you mean by “ply”.

A “drink” in context is implied to be alcoholic. And “Say what’s in this drink” is in implication that it’s stronger than she expected.

I mostly agree with your analysis of the song, though. It’s a playful flirtatious song in context, and I think it’s sad that people focus on such a dark interpretation of it.