I was listening to the radio a few days ago, and Meatloaf’s “Anything For Love” came up. Now I grew up listening to that song to the point where the lyrics are embedded in my DNA. Probably any American of my particular generation can say the same, no matter how you personally feel about the song itself.
However, when the song ended, the DJ said something I’ve never heard before in conjunction with that song. He said, and I quote, “what exactly is it he won’t do? I’ve never understood that.” And his male sidekick laughed and agreed. And all I could think was, have you never listened to the song? Because after the verses listing all the things he WOULD do, comes a woman’s voice, singing,
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?
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?
And Meatloaf responds:
I can do that
And then she comes back with:
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
And the final damn lines of the song are:
I won’t do that
Anything for love
But I won’t do that.
It’s right there in the song, about as explicit as you can make it without a four-color three-dimensional diagram. He promises that he would not be the man she feared. Boom.
But if you didn’t listen to the woman’s portion of the lyrics, the switch from what he would do to what he would not do, would seem to come out of nowhere and without context.
It was, bluntly, the most amazing example of a man – two men in fact – confronted with a woman speaking (singing), and yet completely oblivious to her voice to the point where their brains could not process the information she was giving, leaving them unable to realize that the man was responding to anything.
He wouldn’t do that, but they couldn’t hear that.