Actress and Singer Jen Lilley and Singer Bryan Lanning Team Up for a 2020 Edition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
“2020 is on the naughty list,” actress and singer/songwriter Jen Lilley proclaims as she and singer Bryan Lanning bring light-hearted humor to the difficult year that is 2020 in their rendition of the mega holiday hit “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Jen, putting your own 2020 spin on the lyrics to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Rob Christie. How did you choose this song, made famous by the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter, to address the pandemic’s effect on the holiday season?
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” was the first single I ever released back in 2015, so I’m already known for my original rendition of it. While I was filming my Hallmark Christmas movie, “USS Christmas,” I was joking with the director, Steven Monroe, and the crew by singing my Corona rendition of the holiday classic on set because filming during Covid has extremely high standards which we’re all grateful for, but the added precautions (masks, shields, netted coveralls, social distancing, no more snacks, etc.) do make working efficiently and as quickly as before very difficult. So to keep morale up on set, I sang little spoof lyrics throughout the week. Steven and the crew were all laughing and saying I absolutely had to record it. I sent Rob Christie a voice memo with the starting lyrics, of “stay 6 feet away” and anything else that came to my mind throughout the day between takes, and Rob and I decided to go for it once I was back in LA.
Bryan, you shared how those lyrics made you laugh so much your wife thought something was wrong. Which lyric is your favorite in the remake?
I think “I’ll take your mask, your smile looks swell” was such a great rewrite in the song! It’s so smooth, and I think it’s something that’s on everyone’s minds right now.
The new single not only brings smiles to our faces, it will purchase gifts for 400 homeless children. Jen, you’ve chosen to use the proceeds from the song’s sales to help brighten an otherwise bleak time for youths in your hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. What are some other ways fans can help support others in their communities during the holidays?
I think everyone can do something. While money is tight for almost everyone, many can safely volunteer their time with local charities, host fundraisers for local organizations, or simply send their neighbors cards with well wishes. No act of kindness is too small.
“I hope it brings others a little hope and a lotta joy this holiday season.” Joy from a child’s perspective.” — Bryan, which holiday songs are your children’s favorites?
My boys’ favorite Christmas song is called “Let’s Catch Santa” and it’s a Christmas original that I wrote with them a couple of years ago when we released a family Christmas EP with a few classics and originals. They are constantly scheming ways to actually trap Santa every year!
Fans could enter to win the ultimate Christmas by donating to support Operation Christmas is Not Cancelled. By purchasing entries into the sweepstakes, fans helped the operation’s goal of 10,000 toys for the Marines’ Toys for Tots program. In addition, ten percent from each purchase was donated to the USO, with a minimum donation of $5,000. Jen, how did your role in the Hallmark Christmas movie “USS Christmas” inspire the sweepstakes?
Operation Christmas is Not Cancelled just wrapped, with huge success. We were able to raise quality toys for 9,566 children on our website, and then our toy partners, Green Toys and Sunny Days Entertainment, made extra donations to get us to our 10,000 toy goal! In the end, we raised toys for 10,380 children this year through our campaign for Toys for Tots. Plus, we also raised over $17,000 for the USO. We had a total of 870 winners on ChristmasisNotCancelled.com! Creating and hosting the campaign was an incredible experience and I have to thank my business partner, Ale Boggiano for her heart of gold and creative marketing mind! “USS Christmas” inspired our decision to donate 10% of each entry package on the homepage to the USO, since the USO was tied into the movie, and we have a great depth of respect and love for our military.
Bryan, your grandma taught you to enjoy things while you have them as nothing lasts forever. What message would you like to share with families struggling through the harsh realities caused by the pandemic?
Look for the joy in the little things. Don’t take a conversation with some loved ones or a couch break with your kids for granted. I know I only have a limited time on this Earth, and I want to spend it loving the ones closest to me.