Paradise By The Dashboard Lights – Decrypting a Rock Opera Masterpiece


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Meat Loaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Lights at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Zooming Lens of Narrative: Nostalgia to Reality Check
  5. In The Throes of Passion: Unraveling The Song’s Hidden Meaning
  6. The Grand Metaphor: Baseball as Life’s Play-by-Play
  7. Unforgettable Lines and Timeless Relatability
  8. Cultural Impact and the Anthem of An Era

Lyrics

Well I remember every little thing

As if it happened only yesterday

Parking by the lake

And there was not another car in sight

And I never had a girl

Looking any better than you did

And all the kids at school

They were wishing they were me that night

And now our bodies are oh so close and tight

It never felt so good, it never felt so right

And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife

Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife

C’mon Hold on tight

C’mon Hold on tight

Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night

I can see paradise by the dashboard light

Ain’t no doubt about it

We were doubly blessed

‘Cause we were barely seventeen

And we were barely dressed

Well ain’t no doubt about it

Baby got to go and shout it

Ain’t no doubt about it

We were doubly blessed

‘Cause we were barely seventeen

And we were barely dressed

Baby don’t you hear my heart

You got it drowning out the radio

I’ve been waiting so long

For you to come along and have some fun

Well I gotta let you know

No you’re never gonna regret it

So open up your eyes I got a big surprise

It’ll feel all right

Well I want to make your motor run

And now our bodies are oh so close and tight

It never felt so good, it never felt so right

And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife

Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife

C’mon hold on tight

C’mon hold on tight

Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night

I can see paradise by the dashboard light

Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night

Paradise by the dashboard light

You got to do what you can

And let Mother Nature do the rest

Ain’t no doubt about it

We were doubly blessed

‘Cause we were barely seventeen

And we were barely dressed

We’re gonna go all the way tonight

We’re gonna go all the way and tonight’s the night

We’re gonna go all the way tonight

We’re gonna go all the way and tonight’s the night

We’re gonna go all the way tonight

We’re gonna go all the way and tonight’s the night

We’re gonna go all the way tonight

We’re gonna go all the way and tonight’s the night

Okay, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here,

Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth,

There’s the windup, and there it is,

A line shot up the middle, look at him go.

This boy can really fly

He’s rounding first and really turning it on now,

He’s not letting up at all,

He’s gonna try for second, the ball is bobbled out in center,

And here comes the throw, and what a throw

He’s gonna slide in head first,

Here he comes, he’s out

No, wait, safe-safe at second base,

This kid really makes things happen out there.

Batter steps up to the plate, here’s the pitch-he’s going,

And what a jump he’s got, he’s trying for third,

Here’s the throw, it’s in the dirt-safe at third

Holy cow, stolen base, he’s taking a pretty big lead out there,

Almost daring him to try and pick him off.

The pitcher glances over, winds up, and it’s bunted,

Bunted down the third base line, the suicide squeeze is on

Here he comes, squeeze play, it’s gonna be close, here’s the throw, here’s the play at the

Holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it

Stop right there

I gotta know right now

Before we go any further

Do you love me?

Will you love me forever?

Do you need me?

Will you never leave me?

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?

Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

Do you love me?

Will you love me forever?

Do you need me?

Will you never leave me?

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?

Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

I gotta know right now

Before we go any further

Do you love me?

Will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

Let me sleep on it

And I’ll give you an answer in the morning

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

Let me sleep on it

And I’ll give you an answer in the morning

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

Let me sleep on it

And I’ll give you an answer in the morning

I gotta know right now

Do you love me?

Will you love me forever?

Do you need me?

Will you never leave me?

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?

Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

I gotta know right now

Before we go any further

Do you love me?

And will you love me forever?

What’s it gonna be, boy?

Come on, I can wait all night

What’s it gonna be, boy?

Yes or no?

What’s it gonna be, boy?

Yes or no?

Let me sleep on it

Baby, baby let me sleep on it

Let me sleep on it

And I’ll give you an answer in the morning

I gotta know right now

Do you love me? (let me sleep on it)

Will you love me forever? (baby, baby let me sleep on it)

Do you need me?

Will you never leave me?

Will you make me so happy (let me sleep on it)

For the rest of my life? (I’ll give you an answer in the morning)

Will you take me away

(I’ll give you an answer in the morning)

I gotta know right now?

Before we go any further

Do you love me?

will you love me forever?

Let me sleep on it

Will you love me forever

Let me sleep on it

Will you love me forever

I couldn’t take it any longer

Lord I was crazed

And when the feeling came upon me like a tidal wave

I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave

That I would love you to the end of time

I swore, that I would love you to the end of time

So now I’m praying for the end of time

To hurry up and arrive

‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you

I don’t think that I can really survive

I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow

But God only knows what I can do right now

I’m praying for the end of time

It’s all that I can do

Praying for the end of time, so I can end my life with you

It was long ago and it was far away

And it was so much better that it is today

It was long ago and it was far away (it never felt so good, it never felt so right)

And it was so much better that it is today (and we were glowing like, a metal on the edge of a knife)

It was long ago and it was far away (it never felt so good, it never felt so right)

And it was so much better that it is today (and we were glowing like, a metal on the edge of a knife)

It was long ago and it was far away (it never felt so good, it never felt so right)

And it was so much better that it is today (and we were glowing like, a metal on the edge of a knife)

It was long ago and it was far away (it never felt so good, it never felt so right)

And it was so much better that it is today (and we were glowing like, a metal on the edge of a knife)

It was long ago and it was far away (it never felt so good, it never felt so right)

And it was so much better that it is today (and we were glowing like, a metal on the edge of a knife)

It was long ago and it was far away (it never felt so good, it never felt so right)

And it was so much better that it is today (and we were glowing like, a metal on the edge of a knife)

It was long ago and it was far away

Full Lyrics

Meat Loaf’s ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ is not just a song—it’s a sprawling rock and roll saga encapsulating the tumultuous spirit of teenage lust, ambition, and the eventual begrudging commitment that often follows. With its operatic structure and potent imagery, the song transcends simple musical storytelling to become a vibrant theatre of the youthful mind.

Beneath the surface, the song’s structure and prowess stir up a complex narrative flowing through an anthemic celebration of life’s high-octane moments to a grave realization tethered to the responsibilities and entrapments of hasty youthful promises. Let’s take a deep dive into the multifaceted lyrical ethos that Meat Loaf served up in this gargantuan hit.

The Zooming Lens of Narrative: Nostalgia to Reality Check

The song opens with a gleaming retrospective—teenage freedom, a car by the lake, a sense that in this vacuum of adolescence, that very moment was an endless paradise. It deftly portrays that idyllic snapshot where everything seems perfect, capturing the rapture of youth and the thrilling precipice of emerging adulthood.

Yet as the song progresses, it zooms out to reveal this perfection as fleeting—an ephemeral high before the crash of reality. The jubilant chorus morphs into a binding pact of everlasting love, signed with the naivety of a hormone-driven whim, emblematic of the quicksand of rushed commitments.

In The Throes of Passion: Unraveling The Song’s Hidden Meaning

On the surface, ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ sings of young love and passionate encounters, but the underlying current speaks to the impulsive decisions made in the heat of the moment. It underscores the duality of desire and consequence—a dance between recklessness and the ensuing anchor of one’s actions.

It’s a cautionary tale wrapped in a high-energy rock ballad, serving a hidden meaning which scrutinizes the inescapable bind of choices borne from passion, and the potential for a lifetime of regret that can follow a fleeting promise made under pressure.

The Grand Metaphor: Baseball as Life’s Play-by-Play

The famous baseball broadcast interlude is a stroke of genius, turning a play-by-play sports narration into an allegory for sexual conquest. With its suspenseful build-up and climax, it mirrors the hormonal rush and desperate urgency of teenage romance, depicting the pressure to ‘score’ as if one’s whole worth was at stake.

As an effective metaphor for the machinations of lust and perilous desire, it adds a deeper layer to the song, painting the protagonist’s coming-of-age moment with a blend of satire and truth—a portrayal of the universal scramble for connection and validation.

Unforgettable Lines and Timeless Relatability

‘I swore, that I would love you to the end of time… So now I’m praying for the end of time’—these lines encapsulate both the fervent declarations of affection that come with young love and the mounting dread of an eternal bond welded in haste. They are the words that boomerang from past to present, wistfully remembered and brutally regretted in the same breath.

It’s this anthemic turn of phrase that captures the emotional capriciousness of the song’s characters, and which has granted ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ its timelessness. Those words strike a chord, a universal feeling too many have felt, tethering the song firmly in the collective psyche.

Cultural Impact and the Anthem of An Era

‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ is not just a personal tale but an anthem that encapsulates the cultural zeitgeist of a generation. It found a home in the ethos of the 70s—a representation of the decade’s explosive freedoms and the nascent realization of their consequent limits.

As a reflection of teenage rebellion, the hopeful optimism of budding adulthood, and the lament that comes with dimming innocence, Meat Loaf’s opus is a microcosm of a shifting society grappling with the remnants of post-60s liberation, and the sobering dawn of responsibilities to come.

No Responses

  1. JB says:

    This is extremely well written and inciteful. I’m a 75 year old Meat Loaf lover. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve listened to his songs. They impact me anew every time, almost exactly like they did the first time. The tensions, the excitement….all so familiar in my coming of age. Thank you for this.

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