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‘I’d do anything for love (but I won’t)’: Meat Loaf’s misunderstood lyrics, explained




Meat Loaf, who died Thursday aged 74, said he was frequently asked about the meaning of the lyrics. (Donald Bowers/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) Oh for the love of meat! He explains it right there in the song!

Since the release of his hit I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) in 1993, MeatloafFans are crying out for some clarity. More specifically, what exactly won’t he do for love?

I get this question all the time, the late singer, born Marvin Lee Aday, once remarked during a 1998 performance for VH1 storytellers. But as he explained, the answer is clearly spelled out in the lyrics.

The confusion, he said, comes from the way these lyrics are arranged. Written by longtime Meat Loafs songwriter Jim Steinman, the song tells the story of a man professing his love for a woman and assuring her that she ran straight to hell and back. out of love, among other things. During the song, he also makes several promises. For example, the man says:

But I’ll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life, no way
And I would do anything for love
Oh I would do anything for love
Oh I would do anything for love
But I won’t do that, no I won’t do that

“I’d do anything for love (but I won’t)

The thing he won’t do, says Meat Loaf, is spelled out in the line before the chorus begins. In the lyrics above, for example, he says he’d do anything for love, but he’ll never stop dreaming about you every night of [his] life.

It’s the line before every chorus, Meat Loaf explained to the Storytellers audience, but with the help of a blackboard.

In fact, four of these promises are made during the song, each time before a chorus kicks in. Besides saying the hell never stop dreaming about you, the singer also says may the hell never forget how you feel right now, never forgive myself if we don’t go through with it, and never do it better than I do with you.

And these are, according to Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman, the things he won’t do.

By his own admission, however, Meat Loaf admitted that Steinman was concerned about the clarity of the lyrics at the time of recording.

“When we recorded it, Jim [Steinman] brings up the thing he says: “People won’t know what it is,” Meat Loaf recalled in a 2014 interview with Yahoo!, as transcribed by I said, ‘Of course they are. How can they not know? He said, “They won’t.”

Meat Loaf died Thursday at the age of 74, his family announced. No official cause of death was immediately released.




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