The One and Only Promise I Can Keep

Jim Steinman wrote the Meat Loaf song ‘I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ and it was released on their 1993 album Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell.  Meat Loaf won a Grammy for Best Rock Solo Performance for his work on this song and the single charted #1 in both the UK and the US.  After a decade of bickering, feuding, lawsuits and bankruptcy Jim Steinman and Meatloaf reunited to create Bat Out of Hell II.  English singer and songwriter Lorraine Crosby was the female vocalist on this song, while Patti Russo was the backing singer in live concerts with him, and in the video for the song, the model Dana Patrick is lip-synching to Lorraine’s voice.  Whatever is sung just before that the line, “I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that”, is the “that”, which he is not willing to do.  For example, “But I’ll never forget the way you feel right now, Oh no – no way – I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that”, thus in this case the “that” is to “forget the way you feel right now.”  In the movie Spiceworld, Meat Loaf is the bus driver for the Spice Girls, and when their toilets are clogged, he is asked to fix them, but he says, “Listen, I love these girls, and I’ll do anything for them… but I won’t do that.”

Meat Loaf was born Marvin Lee Aday and although it is not clear how he obtained the nick name of Meat Loaf, he eventually changed his name in Texas by deed poll, which is a legal document that proves a change of name.  He moved to Los Angeles, fronted Meat Loaf Soul, who became Popcorn Blizzard to open for Hendrix, The Who, Sun Ra, The Bonzos and countless others.  Meat Loaf landed a part in a new stage musical called Hair and later he got a role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  He achieved commercial success in 1977 with what would become his landmark album, the rock opera Bat Out of Hell.  While in High School Jim Steinman fronted his first band called The Clitoris That Thought It Was A Puppy.  In 1973, Jim Steinman was auditioning for the New York Public Theater musical he wrote, More Than You Deserve and Meat Loaf tried out singing a Motown-style song called ‘(I’d Love to Be) As Heavy as Jesus’, and when he was done, Jim said, “By the way, you’re as heavy as two Jesuses.”  By 1975, they were touring with the National Lampoon Road Show, with Jim Steinman playing piano, while Loaf lectured the audience at length in an aggressive and critical manner and then they began working on what would become Bat Out Of Hell.

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

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

Maybe I’m crazy, but 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’d 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 that

Some days I pray for silence
And some days I pray for soul
Some days I just pray to the god of sex and drums and rock ‘n’ roll

And maybe I’m lonely, that’s all I’m qualified to be
That’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 are burning
As long as your prayers are coming true
You’d better believe it, that I would do

Anything for love
And you know it’s true and that’s a fact
I would do anything for love,
And there’ll never be no turning back
But I’ll never do it better than I do it with you.
So long, so long

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, no, no, I won’t do

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
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?

I can do that
Oh no, 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

Written for Thursday Inspiration #138 Holding Out for A Hero.

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