So, this is Christ­mas mu­sic?

San Francisco Chronicle - - FROM THE COVER - Josh Gohlke, edi­to­rial writer

Re­viv­ing a de­bate as stale as a hol­i­day stan­dard, San Fran­cisco’s KOIT and other ra­dio sta­tions are weath­er­ing a back­lash for ban­ning Frank Loesser’s Os­car-win­ning 1944 song, “Baby, It’s Cold Out­side.” Once seen as sex­u­ally pro­gres­sive, the duet be­tween an over­bear­ing man and a re­luc­tant woman can now be read as creepy, pre-“Me Too” co­er­cion.

The prob­lem here is think­ing too small. In­stead of lim­it­ing their naughty lists to Christ­mas mu­sic deemed out­dated or of­fen­sive, the sta­tions should ex­pand them to ad­dress the un­ac­cept­ably an­noy­ing.

Start with the Bea­tles: Paul McCart­ney’s in­fu­ri­at­ing, in­fec­tious (in the epi­demi­o­log­i­cal sense) “Won­der­ful Christ­mas­time” and John Len­non’s su­per­cil­ious “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” fea­tur­ing ap­par­ently well-in­tended but im­mor­tally bad lyrics like: “And so happy Christ­mas/ For black and for white/ For yel­low and red ones/ Let’s stop all the fights.” Speak­ing of good causes de­serv­ing bet­ter songs, the Band Aid dirge “Do They Know It’s Christ­mas?” labors un­der the mis­con­cep­tion that there is no snow or Chris­tian­ity in Africa. I could go on, but as the cornered “Cold Out­side” woman puts it, I sim­ply must go.

KOIT did, by the way, ad­mit to one other song it black­listed, in­ex­pli­ca­bly, for “neg­a­tive lan­guage”: a cover of Leonard Co­hen’s “Hal­lelu­jah,” which has been re­peat­edly ranked among the great­est songs ever writ­ten. Its first stanza asks a ques­tion be­fit­ting that de­ci­sion and many hol­i­day playlists: “You don’t re­ally care for mu­sic, do ya?”

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