Why Meat Loaf wouldn’t do that for love – truth behind the American rockstar’s most iconic song

Tributes have been pouring in this Friday after it was announced legendary singer Meat Loaf passed away, age 74.

The Bat Out Of Hell singer, whose real name was Michael Lee Aday, passed away in the evening of Thursday January 20 with his wife Deborah Gillespie by his side – according to a statement issued by his family.

Read more stories on tributes here.

His cause of death is current unknown, but sources told TMZ that the star cancelled a business dinner earlier this week after falling ill with Covid.

The actor and musician’s wife released a statement via Facebook saying: “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side.

American rock star Meat Loaf, real name Marvin Lee Aday, holds his hand to his ear in a theatrical pose during a live concert in 1985
American rock star Meat Loaf, real name Marvin Lee Aday, holds his hand to his ear in a theatrical pose during a live concert in 1985
(Image: Keystone/Getty Images)

“Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.

“His amazing career spanned 6 decades that saw him sell over 100 Million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Wayne’s World.

“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man.”

“We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!”

Since the announcement, fans have been reminiscing about his success in music.

Tributes have poured in from stars including Boy George and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with fans remembering some of Meat Loaf’s best moments.

Fans of the American rock legend believe they have cracked the code to what one of his most famous songs really means
Fans of the American rock legend believe they have cracked the code to what one of his most famous songs really means
(Image: Hull Live)

The musical icon had an incredible career spanning six decades and 100 million albums sold worldwide.

Meat Loaf had hits from the album Bat Out Of Hell: Back To Hell album, You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) and the near 10-minute Bat Out Of Hell which were both from his 1977 debut album.

One of his most well known songs of all time is Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), release back in 1993.

However, following the news of his sad death, fans have also unearthed a former interview by the singer where he explains the meaning behind his most misunderstood lyric.

One of the most famous lyrics of his career, ‘I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that’, is repeated nine times in the song, and is now at the centre of debate.

For years, Meat Loaf fans have been left wondering what the true meaning behind ‘the thing’ he wouldn’t do for love is – but the singer actually explained the lyric in a 2009 interview.

The iconic rocker told talk show host Ali Wentworth the line was one of the most widely misunderstood lyrics of his career because it doesn’t mean just one thing – it means many different things throughout the duration of the song.

I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) remains one of Meat Loaf’s most beloved songs
I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) remains one of Meat Loaf’s most beloved songs
(Image: Hull Live)

At the time, Meat Loaf revealed that his co-writer Jim Steinman foresaw fans being left confused by the lyric, but Meatloaf believed that was what made it all more beautiful.

He explained: “When we were recording it, Jim brings up the thing – he says, ‘people aren’t gonna know what that is.’ I said ‘of course they are. how can they not know?’.

“It’s the line before every chorus, there’s nine of them, I think. The problem lies because Jimmy likes to write, so you forget what the line was before you get to ‘I won’t do that.'”

Therefore, ‘the things’ that Meat Loaf wouldn’t do according to the lyrics include ‘forget the way you feel right now’, ‘forgive myself if we don’t go all the way tonight’, ‘do it better than I do it with you’ and ‘stop dreaming of you every night of my life’.

Essentially, Meat Loaf insisted in the song that while he’s in a relationship and while he’s in love, he will never forget how special it is.

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