Miley Cyrus gave “Santa Baby” a #MeToo makeover. The 26-year-old pop superstar put a feminist spin on the classic Christmas song during an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, as previously shared by the Inquisitr.
In Cyrus’ version of the song, which you can see below, she doesn’t ask Santa for fancy jewels, cash, or cars as she defiantly announces, “I can buy my own d**n stuff!” Instead, Ms. Cyrus wants equal pay and for men to stop texting her inappropriate pics. Her biggest wish? For that “ignorant jerk” at work to stop grabbing her behind.
Cyrus’ version of “Santa Baby” comes as the song celebrates its 65th anniversary in 2018. The Christmas standard originally recorded by Eartha Kitt in 1953 was written by Phil Springer that same year, and while it became a surprise hit, it courted controversy from the start.
Springer told the Los Angeles Times that when he was hired in August 1953 to pen a Christmas song for then 26-year-old Broadway star Eartha Kitt, he nearly turned down the assignment.
“[Kitt] is the sexiest woman in the world. You don’t write Christmas songs that are sexy. How are we going to do that?'”
The songwriter said the publishers advised him to “stick to the music,” and let them “worry about whether this song is going to be sacrilegious or not.’ “
When he initially submitted his draft of “Santa Baby,” which was co-written with Joan Javits, he apologized to the music publisher for the song’s crass message.
“I said, ‘Gentlemen, this is not really the kind of music that I like to write. I hope it’s OK. It’s the best I could do,'” the songwriter revealed.
When music legend Eartha Kitt recorded “Santa Baby” in 1953, she crooned the opening lines in such a sexy voice that it was banned in parts of the South.
“It’s a sexy theme,” Springer told the Times.
“Nobody had ever done that before — had written a song about a woman who is obviously a mistress of a man, and saying what she wanted. …In many cities it was a hit. But in some cities it was banned and there was a lot of talk against it.”
Indeed, while “Santa Baby” was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek look at a woman asking Santa Claus for lavish presents (adjusted for inflation, she’s asking for billions in gifts), critics thought the tone of Kitt’s voice was too sexy and sexualized the tradition of children writing letters to Santa Claus.
In 1953, Eartha Kitt recorded "Santa Baby," a song that is a testament to the more capitalist tendencies the season can evoke. https://t.co/o33FcKwBxz— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) December 17, 2018
“Santa Baby” was released on Dec. 18, 1953, and two years later, Eartha Kitt recorded the followup song “Nothin’ for Christmas,” in which she repented for the “Santa Baby” suggestion that had been willing to trade her favors for material goods. In the sequel song, Kitt played a good girl who’s “getting nothin’ for Christmas [because] I didn’t want to be bad.” But the second song by TV’s future sultry Catwoman didn’t hit with listeners. Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day in 2008 at age 81.
Over the past 65 years, “Santa Baby” has been covered by Madonna, Ariana Grande, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Faith Evans, Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, and even The Muppets’ Miss Piggy.
You can hear Miley Cyrus’ “Santa Baby” below.