Baby It’s Cold Outside discourse is the same as Macbeth discourse.
OK, so one of the big debates in Macbeth involves the scene in which Lady Macbeth talks Macbeth into killing King Duncan. People debate strenuously over whether it’s a scene of Lady M pressuring her reluctant husband into it, or whether it’s a scene of her sensing, due to their emotional intimacy, that this murder is something her husband secretly wants and has partially internally decided to do, and is arguing him into it in order to help him give himself permission to do it, in the same way that people see their loved ones wavering over the dessert menu and jump in with things like, “Go on, get the cheesecake, it’s your birthday!” Readers and scholars disagree strenuously about this – we even studied an incident in college in which two 18th century illustrators attended the same performance and happened to draw the scene the day after, producing two images that advanced opposite interpretations even though they’d seen the exact same actors do the exact same performance. It’s a big deal.
In the same way, the Baby, It’s Cold Outside discourse is about whether this is a song about sexual harassment, or whether it’s a woman singing about how she wishes she could spend the night with the guy she just had an excellent date with if only the neighbors wouldn’t talk, and him responding, “Stay, baby, it’s cold out! No one could expect you to go home in this!”
I really don’t know (baby stab his side)
King Duncan’s a bro (baby cut through his hide)
I like him a lot (That decrepit old sot?)
This plan ain’t so great (But what a king you’d make!)
The guards might worry (Darling, do it in a hurry!)
His sons will rush the door (So knock them on the floor.)
I’m not such a knave (Bash his head with a stave)
But I’d be a good king (Now you’re starting to think)
The dukes might all talk (But their chatter means naught)
Say, love, what do you mean (You’d make such a king)
I simply must go (baby cut through his hide)
There’s a war on you know (baby cut through his hide)
But what of his wife? (And what of his life?)
It feels like bad luck (But that don’t mean much)
I’ve got a bad premonition (And I’ve got a mission)
But that’s just superstition (My love, you’re a vision)
The witches said I’d rule (If they lied they were cruel)
So baby let’s stab
Stab his siiiiide!