One of the great mysteries of my childhood was MTV. I rarely watched MTV, but every once in a while I’d turn it on when my parents weren’t home to catch up on pop culture. I couldn’t tell the difference between songs that came out that week or 10 years ago, so the hottest new music video was just as intriguing and mysterious as the classics.
For some reason, the video they aired the most was Meat Loaf’s anthem, “I’d Do Anything for Love (but I Won’t Do That). This song was particularly mysterious to me because I could not for the life of me figure out what that parenthetical phrase meant. So I thought I would revisit the refrain of that song today to figure it out. Here it is:
Oh, I would do anything for love
I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that
No, I won’t do that
Now, to be fair to Meat Loaf, at the end of the song he reveals an answer. The song ends with the female saying, “Sooner or later you’ll be screwing around” and Meat Loaf reassures her, “I won’t do that,” followed by “No, I won’t do that,” as if he’s trying to convince himself it’s true.
However, the correlation doesn’t make sense at all. Think about it: “I would do anything for love, but I won’t cheat on you.” Why would he need to cheat on her for love? I’m assuming Meat Loaf is together with the woman, and he’s telling her he’d do anything for her. At no point in time would cheating by on the table as something he’d do for her. Maybe apple picking, a stroll through a farmer’s market, or getting in a bar fight, but cheating on her? It doesn’t make sense.
So what exactly is Meat Loaf talking about? He’ll do anything for love…but he won’t do that. He won’t do that. Where does a guy like Meat Loaf draw the line? He’ll literally do anything except for that. Anything. Let’s visualize what this means:
“Anything” is a lot of things! Fortunately Meat Loaf gives us some examples in the song so we know the types of things he would do for love:
He’ll do all those things…but he won’t do that. My first instinct as I sat down to write about this topic was that Meat Loaf is referring to the devil’s threesome. No one wants to do that, even for love. But then I thought about it, and I’m pretty sure Meat Loaf would have no problem with that. He’s probably involved in one right now.
So I turned to Wikipedia to learn a little more about Meat Loaf. My research turned up not one, but three things he won’t do, not even for love:
I wasn’t sure where this blog entry would take me, but I’m actually happy with the result. I found my answer(s). Do you agree?