What wouldn’t meatloaf do for love?

Meatloaf sang:

I would do anything for love but I won’t do that

And to this day people make a joke that Meatloaf never actually said what he would not do.

I’ve even seen people refer to it as:

“The most mysterious of song lyrics.”

If that’s considered a mysterious lyric then let me tell you there are a lot of lyrics out there which are genuinely more mysterious than that, and if you’ve heard none of those lyrics then you have not heard very many song lyrics.

When meatloaf died people joked - they joked - that the real tragedy is that we’ll never find out what it is he won’t do for love.

Like a person has died and they use that as an opportunity to highlight their own ignorance, poor lyrical comprehension, or complete reluctance to perform even the most perfunctory of research.

Let us take a look at the lyrics shall we?

Okay, now stick with me, because this is going to be a difficult journey and I know it’s going to be far too difficult for a lot of you. Ok ready?

Here’s the start of the lyrics —

And I would do anything for love
I'd run right into hell and back

We’re only two lines into the song right, and we haven’t worked out the answer to the great mystery in rock and roll. But don’t worry. Because we’re already 50% of the way toward finding our answer.

Here’s the next two lines —

I would do anything for love I'll never lie to you and that's a fact

Ah, there we go. What he won’t do is lie to you. He’s given the answer right there in the first verse.

If we’re patient enough to stick around until, oh the very next lyrics we find —

But I'll never forget the way you feel right now
Oh no
No way
And I would do anything for love
But I won't do that,
No I won't do that

Ah-ha! Another example — he will never forget the way you feel right now.

Mystery solved - again!

How many other examples does he give?

Considering that he allegedly died without telling us what he’s done — but he actually gave us example after example — and published it on an album that for a while there got non stop radio airplay and which was purchased millions of times — what would he actually have to do for you to get the message?

But I'll never forgive myself if we don't go all the way


Ok if we’re going to be disrespectful to Mealoaf - and to the songwriter Jim Steinman — we could instead focus on lyrics like this, which continue the date-rape cheer-squad tone of the original bat out of hell album. I mean Yikes.

This skips glibly (or airily) past the topic of consent.

Let’s take that argument as separate — worth making - but not the gist or responsibility of this article alone.

He’s given a third example of what he won’t do. Won’t forgive himself if doesn’t - let’s take a generous view and say he must go all the way in his declaration of love. Primarily he is a balladeer. Following in a long tradition of balladeers declaring their love. And he wishes to excel at this task.


This article is a stub: the tiny seed of a mighty article, not yet written.