“Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are” by Meat Loaf

Apparently this song is autobiographical in nature, though in that regard speaking more to the life of Jim Steinman, i.e. the musician who actually wrote it. It commences with the vocalist reminiscing on his relationship with one “Kenny”, i.e. the bestie from his youth. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Meat Loaf's Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are at Lyrics.org.

To make a long story short, Kenny ended up dying in what appears to be a car crash – due to the fast life, so to speak, he and the narrator enjoyed together. But more to the point is that up until now, “long” after Kenny’s passing, the narrator is still unable to get over his death.

Then in the second part of the song, the narrator harps back to his childhood relationship with his father, i.e. when he actually lived under him. And dad is depicted as one of those types of individuals who blames his unhappiness on others, such as his son, on top of being an alcoholic. 

So after enduring the associated abuse for some time, the narrator runs away from home. And as such stories usually tend to go, he suffered for a long time before being able to gain control of his life’s path. 

As with the passing of Kenny, he also deems this less-than-ideal part of his personal history as one he should have gotten over already. But instead, it’s like he’s still traumatized due to the way his father treated him.

Then the third and final narrative centers on what reads like the vocalist’s first love, one he was engaged in his youth. It was via this relationship that he learned what romance truly is. All associated lyrics considered, the narrator was truly smitten by this lady. But then one day, it’s like homegirl just up and disappeared. Or put more simply, she dumped the vocalist and broke his heart. Even though that happened years ago, he is still haunted by her memory. Or phrased otherwise, by the looks of things he may never fully get over her.

“Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are”

And that, dear reader, brings us to the title of this piece. An “object in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are”, in context, is a poetic way of saying that there are certain psychological traumas in life that our hearts and minds may never be able to completely overcome. 

And yes, even though a number of Meat Loaf songs tend to be deceptively deep, this appears to be one of the more serious singles he came out with, i.e. being devoid of any type of comedic content. Also, it isn’t about sexual lust or references to hell or anything like that. Instead it focuses on grave issues.

Being able to get over some disturbing aspect(s) of our respective personal histories is likely something most of us have to deal with. And in its own special way, this song illustrates that being unable to get over the death of or abuse by a loved one for instance is nothing to be ashamed of. In a way, he lets the listeners know that it is even normal, in a contemporary world that sometimes tries to convince us that the opposite is rather true.

"Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are" Lyrics

Facts about “Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are”

MCA and Virgin Records made this track public on 25 April 1994, as the last single from Meat Loaf’s album “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell”. 

Meat Loaf (1947-2022) released three Bat Out of Hell albums – respectively in 1977, 1993 and 2006 – which are considered to be his greatest musical achievements. And this is especially true for the first two installments, both of which were major commercial successes and the second part, though it didn’t sell as many records as the first, being more of a critical success.

This song was written by regular Meat Loaf collaborator Jim Steinman (1947-2021), who served as the author of both “Bat Out of Hell” and “Bat Out of Hell II”. 

Steinman touted this particular song as the most difficult song he ever authored and, perhaps relatedly, the last he wrote for “Bat Out of Hell II”.

The music video to this track was helmed by none other than A list Hollywood director Michael Bay, during the early goings of his career. The clip is nearly 8 minutes in length, compared to the album version of the song being over 10 minutes and the single version nearly 6 minutes (thus making “Objects in the Review View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are” one of 1994’s lengthiest Top 40 hit). 

The video features Robert Patrick (i.e. who portrayed the main villain from Terminator 2) as well as other professional actors. It was filmed in various parts of Texas.

“Objects in the Review View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are” appeared on both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles chart, making it onto the top 40 in both cases.

Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are

3 Responses

  1. Laura Birschbach says:

    I loved Meatloafs songs, voice and music and always will. Thanks to Mr. Steinman for his contribution . Laura Birschbach

  2. Anonymous says:

    Never occured in my though that i will learn the meaning of this song again, thx, Denny, Indonesia

  3. Lorenzo says:

    Deep lyrics and probably one of the greatest Rock voices to ever walk this earth. Thank you for giving us Meatloaf, and Steinman for writing some truly powerful lyrics!

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