We rank 20 Versions of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’

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8. Rufus Wainwright & Sharon Van Etten

Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten’s take on “Baby It’s Cold Outside” moves away from the traditional up tempo sound of the song and makes it a little slower. Their version is almost mournful. It’s as if she already left before he even tried to make her stay. It’s kind of a downer. But it sounds beautiful.

This version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is all about what Wainwright does best. It is just he and Van Etten and a piano, showing off their incredible vocal talents. Wainwright draws the last note and the end of each line, making us hang on every delicate word. His voice overlaps with Van Etten’s as she picks up where he left off. At the end their parts finally come together for one soaring finale.

Wainwright and Van Etten make a perfect pair.  She abandons her usual folk sound for a more soulful and sweet one. His tenor is sad and soft. There’s a new feeling of past history to the lyrics that doesn’t exist in most adaptations.

It’s another version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” that elevates it from a traditional Christmas song to something more. This piece could outlast December and be played all winter long to ward off the chill.