There’s no denying the magic that’s created when Meat Loaf and songwriter Jim Steinman team up for a record ― much was the case with Meat Loaf’s 1993 album, “Bat Out of Hell II: Bat into Hell,” which spawned the comeback single “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).”
The track features the lyrics: “And I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that / No, I won’t do that.”
But what exactly is “that” referring to?
Over the years, Meat Loaf has been asked countless times what “that” is ― and he’s subsequently answered the question countless times. But what you may not know is that Meat Loaf and Steinman had placed a bet on whether or not fans would understand the lyric reference. From the start, it dawned on Steinman that listeners might not get it.
“It was Jimmy in the studio who said, ‘Nobody is going to know what ‘that’ is. And I said, ‘Of course they will! People aren’t stupid, you know. They’ll know what ‘that’ is. Jimmy, it’s right there on the lyric. How can you not know?’ So we bet $100, and I lost $100,” Meat Loaf told The Huffington Post during a recent AOL Build.
Meat Loaf says the “problem” lies with the convoluted but brilliant way Steinman tends to write lyrics. The 69-year-old singer says “I won’t do that” actually refers to different phrases throughout the song, all referenced in the previous lyrics.
“I swear a million times I’ve been asked … [’That’] is the line before every chorus, and I think there’s seven or eight of them … ‘I’d never do it better than I do it with you’ … ‘I’d run into hell and back.’ By the time we get to the line ‘I won’t do that,’ people forget!”
Alas, Meat Loaf lost the bet.
“Yup, it cost me $100 bucks,” he added with a smile.