I woke up with Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) in my head this morning, which means today is going to be awesome, so of course I went to Youtube and listened to it immediately and was struck, as everyone bloody is, by the eternal question: what the hell is that for fuck’s sake. Like I know I’ve been told! But it was fifteen years ago and the song is great anyway. So Google was my friend; here’s Meatloaf explaining it in an interview:
“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?’ He goes, ‘They’re not gonna.‘”
So what is “that”? “It’s the line before every chorus,” explained Loaf. “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.’” (Some of the things the song says he won’t do: forget the way you feel right now; forgive himself if you don’t go all the way tonight; do it better than he does it with you, so long; and stop dreaming of you every night of his life.)
It’s not our fault, guys, the lyrics are confusing. But that’s part of why the song is so good. You can enjoy it without exactly getting it, and that even kinda makes it better in a way.
A little confusion and ambiguity is good sometimes. I promise I never try to write stuff that is pointlessly vague or confusing – it always clicks somewhere along the line – but my books are designed to be re-read. So that’s MY justification for why my writing can sometimes be weird and confusing: it’s toooootally on purpose.