April 26, 2019
After a short hiatus whereby we scoured the web for more fascinating facts, we bring this amazing factoid all about Meat Loaf and what he won’t do for love. We all know the song but when Meat Loaf says ‘I Won’t Do That’, what is he referring to?
Back in 1993, Meat Loaf released "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" as the lead single from Bat Out of Hell II: Back to Hell, and the crowd went wild. It hit number one in 15 countries, was the best-selling single of the year in both the UK and Australia and continues to be a popular power ballad today. But throughout the song, Meat Loaf says that he would do anything for love, but he won’t do that…and many people have speculated on what it is exactly that Meat Loaf won’t do. So what is ‘that’?
Apparently ‘What is that?’ is one of the most common questions Meat Loaf is asked and it’s hardly surprising considering the way that the song is written. To most of us, we hear it as the singer professing his love for his partner and going through a whole list of things that he would do for love before saying that he ‘won’t do that’ but interestingly the answer is right there in the song. You just have to listen a little more closely and understand Jim Steinman’s structure in writing the song.
Meat Loaf actually mentions four things that he won’t do, the first of which comes close to the beginning of the song. Here is the full stanza and we think you’ll agree that you know what you are looking for, you can quite easily work out what Meat Loaf won’t do for love.
And I would do anything for love
I'd run right into hell and back
I would do anything for love
I'll never lie to you and that's a fact
But I'll never forget the way you feel right now
And I would do anything for love
But I won't do that.
Hopefully it is now apparent to you that the first thing Meat Loaf won’t do for love is ‘never forget the way you feel right now’. When recording the song, Meat Loaf believed that the lyrics were unambiguous but Steinman felt that he knew the words would cause confusion. As he noted in an interview about his work:
It sort of is a little puzzle and I guess it goes by - but they're all great things. 'I won't stop doing beautiful things and I won't do bad things.' It's very noble. I'm very proud of that song because it's very much like out of the world of Excalibur. To me, it's like Sir Lancelot or something - very noble and chivalrous. That's my favourite song on the record - it's very ambitious.”
In another interview, Steinman has also mentioned that the confusion comes from the word ‘but’ and that if he had used ‘and I won’t do that’, there wouldn’t have been such a clear obstruction on the ears of the listener.
All in all, when Meat Loaf says ‘I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that’, there are four things that Meat Loaf won’t do and they are:
"forget the way you feel right now"
"forgive myself if we don't go all the way tonight"
"do it better than I do it with you"
"stop dreaming of you every night of my life"
Next time somebody wanders aloud what Meat Loaf won’t do for love, feel free to chip in with your newfound knowledge as you enjoy the epic power ballad ringing through the speakers.
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