I’d Do Anything for Love (but I Won’t Do That) – Unraveling the Passionate Paradox


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Meat Loaf's I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That) at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Eternal Dance of Love and Limits
  5. The Hidden Meaning Within The Cryptic Chorus
  6. A Roller Coaster of Metaphors: Language that Ignites Emotion
  7. The Anthemic Power of Unforgettable Lines
  8. A Requiem for the Unsung Promises of Love

Lyrics

And I would do anything for love
I’d run right into hell and back
I would do anything for love
I’d never lie to you and that’s a fact.

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

And some days it don’t come easy
And some days it don’t come hard
Some days it don’t come at all
And these are the days that never end
And some nights you’re breathing fire
And some nights you’re carved in ice
Some nights you’re like nothing I’ve ever seen before
Or will again

And maybe I’m crazy
Oh, it’s crazy and it’s true
I know you can save me
No one else can save me now but you

As long as the planets are turning
As long as the stars are burning
As long as your dreams are coming true
You better believe it

That 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 would do anything for love
Anything you’ve been dreaming of
But I just won’t do that
I would do anything for love
Anything you’ve been dreaming of
But I just won’t do

And some days I pray for silence
And some days I pray for soul
Some days I just pray to the God of Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘N Roll.

And maybe I’m lonely
That’s all I’m qualified to be
There’s just one and only
The one and only promise I can keep

As long as the wheels are turning
As long as the fires burning
As long as your prayers are coming true
You better believe it

That I would do anything for love
And you know it’s true and that’s a fact
And I would do anything for love
And there’ll never be no turning back

But I’ll never do it better then I do it with you
So long, so long
And I would do anything for love
Oh, I would do anything for love
I would do anything for love
But I won’t do that
No, no, no I won’t do that

Will you raise me up?
Will you help me down?
Will you get me right out of this Godforsaken town?
Will you make it all a little less cold?

I can do that!
Oh, I can do that!

Will you cater to every fantasy I got?
Will you hose me down with holy water if I get too hot!
Will you take me places I’ve never known?

Now I can do that
Oh, oh now I can do that!

I know the territory, I’ve been around
It’ll all turn to dust and we’ll all fall down
Sooner or later you’ll be screwing around

I won’t do that!
No, I won’t do that!

Anything for love
But I won’t do that

Full Lyrics

A thunderous ballad that shook the 90s, Meat Loaf’s ‘I’d Do Anything for Love (but I Won’t Do That)’ remains a resonant anthem for the aching hearts and undying spirits of romantics worldwide. A sweeping symphony of love, sacrifice, and boundaries, the song surged to meteoric success, etching itself into the collective consciousness. Yet beneath its soaring melodies lies a labyrinth of emotional depth, frequently misunderstood and ripe for exploration.

Couched in the grandiosity of Jim Steinman’s epic composition and Meat Loaf’s impassioned vocals, this power ballad’s enigmatic refrain has kept listeners speculating for decades. To unravel the fabric of this musical mystery, one must traverse the nuances of romantic devotion and the steadfast refusal to cross certain lines, even for love.

The Eternal Dance of Love and Limits

At the heart of Meat Loaf’s magnum opus lies a fundamental human truth: we all commit to love with our unique caveats. The duality expressed in ‘I’ll do anything for love…but I won’t do that’ taps into the universal question of how far one should go for the one they hold dear. The artist presents love as an odyssey, an expansive journey mired with grand gestures and raw promises. Yet, he firmly plants his feet when it comes down to the unnamed ‘that,’ reminding us that even in the throes of passion, certain lines must remain undrawn.

The fervor in Meat Loaf’s delivery captures the listener’s own turmoil in defining boundaries amidst the pursuit of love. Playful yet profound, the refrain becomes less about learning what ‘that’ is and more about recognizing the power of personal limits. The steadfast loyalty to one’s self, even as they offer up their heart, becomes a testament to the integrity that should underpin any declaration of love.

The Hidden Meaning Within The Cryptic Chorus

Much ado has been made about what ‘that’ signifies in the song, sparking ongoing debates and countless interpretations. Hidden within the ambiguity of ‘that’ is the songwriter’s genius—by not defining the act unequivocally, listeners are left to project their individual thresholds onto the song. The repeated negation in the chorus emphasizes a message of love as an exercise in not just giving but also in withholding, all in the service of preserving the self and the relationship’s integrity.

The genius lies in the strategic ambiguity; we’re not only looking at a love song but a riddling reflection of personal ethics in romantic endeavors. Steinman’s intricate lyricism dances with our curiosities and challenges us to contemplate our boundaries. The hidden meaning transcends the specific and dwells within the sacred spaces we reserve even as we surrender ourselves to someone else.

A Roller Coaster of Metaphors: Language that Ignites Emotion

The vivid imagery in ‘I’d Do Anything for Love (but I Won’t Do That)’ paints both the bliss and torment of love in broad, bold strokes. Phrases like ‘run right into hell and back’ and ‘breathe fire’ encapsulate the intensity and volatility of love, and Meat Loaf delivers every word with a conviction that stirs the soul. The language soars and dives, reflecting the ups and downs inherent in any love story.

The metaphorical ‘Godforsaken town’ and ‘holy water’ further the spiritual undertone of the love being described—both as a source of exaltation and a powerful force to be treated with reverence. Meat Loaf’s linguistic craftsmanship turns simple declarations of love into rich tapestries of shared human experience, eloquent in their simplicity and profound in their sweep.

The Anthemic Power of Unforgettable Lines

‘But I’ll never do it better than I do it with you’—encapsulating the singular, pinnacle experience that stands as the heart’s best achievement in love. In these lines, Meat Loaf underscores a lover’s pledge to hold the object of their affection above all others, reserving the heights of their emotional capacity solely for ‘the one.’ The conviction in these words rings universally, an anthem for those who’ve known the irreplaceable bond of a once-in-a-lifetime love.

Even as these lines seal a promise of unparalleled loyalty, they work in concert with the song’s more cryptic statements to encapsulate love’s complexities. The commitment to an unrivaled ‘better’ spurs not just a romantic high but a commitment to an ideal that resonates deeply within the ethos of the listener.

A Requiem for the Unsung Promises of Love

Deep within the song’s explosive crescendos and tender melodies lies the dirge for love’s unspoken vows—the ‘anything’ that’s tendered without need for enumeration or recognition. These promises, known only to lovers themselves, create the silent bonds that define their unity. As the artist traverses the vast scapes of love, it becomes clear: ‘anything’ is not an abstract concept but a living breathing testament of the day-to-day sacrifices and joys shared in the name of love.

Through this track, Meat Loaf reiterates love’s age-old adage: it is not just in grand gestures where love is revealed but often in the spaces between, the places where ‘I won’t do that,’ comes to mean—’I will honor myself, and in doing so, honor us.’ As the last note fades, listeners are left grappling with their own interpretations of ‘that,’ inevitably pondering the weight of Meat Loaf’s legacy in love’s endless ballad.

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