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A Meat Loaf for Every Moment

A Meat Loaf for Every Moment

Music has always played an important role in my life. In high school, I participated in both the chorus and the band, and that participation resulted in some of the most stressful and most memorable moments of my life. I’m almost always listening to music. I listen to music when I travel, when I relax, even when I write. There are days when a certain song perfectly describes my mood and I’ll just listen to it over and over while it reverberates with my soul.

If my life had a soundtrack, a large portion of it would be comprised of Meat Loaf’s music. I remember sitting in my grandmother’s living room, listening to Bat Out of Hell and Bat II on tape. (Yes TAPE, and I’m pretty sure she had it on vinyl too!) One of my uncles tried to tell me that Meat Loaf’s music wasn’t any good, but I didn’t listen to him. Back then, I didn’t understand what Meat was signing about, but I knew that it spoke to something deep inside me.

Can’t you hear the planet groanin’ like a broken down machine / Rusted with the guilty tears of fallen kings and queens

I remember walking to high school while one of my best friends and I had Meat Loaf tapes in our walkmans. We’d walk up and down the streets singing the songs together. Later the same friend would play Meat Loaf in the background of most of our interactions. In the background while we wrote, while we drew, while we screwed around on the computer, even while we slept. Dancing on the bed singing Meat Loaf songs at midnight. Said friend even eventually got to meet the man.

Dancing at my wedding singing Paradise by the Dashboard Light.

Sometimes Meat Loaf fades away for awhile while I listen to other things. My husband got me into Iron Maiden, and several other metal bands, and much of their music speaks to me as well. But I always go back to Meat Loaf. I always go back to those songs of my youth that had some deep meaning I just couldn’t grasp.

Remember everything that I told you, and I’m telling you again that it’s true / You’re never alone, ’cause you can put on the ‘phones, / And let the drummer tell your heart what to do

This past New Year’s Eve we were on our way to a party, driving with a new friend, and we put on some music. I read off the list of what I had on my MP3 player and after awhile he said, “Let’s turn on that Meat Loaf.” When he started to sing along, so did I. And we spent the rest of the drive that way, plus the entire drive back. I don’t meet many people who share my love of singing certain songs at the top of their lungs while blazing down the highway (or various other situations), but it’s always something special for me when I do. At one point during the drive he made a comment about how there’s a Meat Loaf for every moment.

There really is.

I’m old enough now to understand what Meat’s singing about and why it had such a long-reaching effect on my life. In high school I lived primarily in a small town. No one ever came, few people ever left. There’s not really any industry there aside from retail. Meat Loaf’s music talks about what it’s like to feel trapped in a dead end, going nowhere, and the longing to break free of that.

Nothing ever grows in this rotting old hole / Where everything is stunted and lost / And nothing really rocks / And nothing really rolls / And nothing’s ever worth the cost

Meat Loaf’s music speaks to us of pain. Of darkness. Of deep loss.

There were endless winters and the dreams would freeze / No where to hide and no leaves on the trees, / And my father’s eyes were blank as he hit me again and again and again

In high school, I think we liked a lot of that music because it also talks about sex very frankly – a topic which is often taboo for teenagers. But I realize now it isn’t that it’s flashy and edgy. It’s because Meat Loaf’s music portrays sex as something natural, something meaningful, something we should embrace and enjoy rather than hide and fear.

You shouldn’t tremble when we touch / There’s no reason for these fears / It’s a promise that was made / We’ve been promised this for years

In fact many of his songs are about embracing life. We let so much of it pass us by, shuffling from our beds to our boring, annoying, or tedious nine to five jobs.

But it seems to me to the contrary, of all the crap they’re going to put on the page / that a wasted youth is better by far than a wise and productive old age!

Society raises us to believe we need to contribute to the whole by spending our lives earning money. But what do we ever do with that money? How does it bring us happiness? We don’t have time to spend with our families because we spend all of it working. By the time we’re able to enjoy the fruits of our labor, many people are of too advanced an age to do the things they really wanted. In today’s world, some people can’t retire no matter how hard they work. There’s never a better time to embrace life than now. It’s never more important to break away from that should-do attitude and search for the thing that makes you truly happy than it is at this moment.

We gotta be fast / We were born out of time, born out of time and alone / And we’ll never be as young as we are right now

For the past few years I’ve struggled to make my dreams a reality. I’ve dug in my claws, ignored the odds, the overwhelming pressure from society to shape myself into something I’m not, and reached for my goals with all my being. Some days it’s dreadfully difficult. Other days it’s tremendously rewarding. When I listen to Meat Loaf’s music, I’m proud I stuck to my guns. Life is so short and every moment precious. We should fill it with as much happiness and joy as we can. No matter how impossible things seem, we have to give it our all.

You don’t have a lot / But it’s all that you’ve got, and you can turn it into more than it seems

The only thing which prevents us from succeeding, is refusing to try. Our society isn’t much for risks; the safe, secure route is always better. But sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes we don’t know what life really is until we get our first taste of the daring, the things everyone tells us we can never do. Meat’s voice has been singing these revelations to me from the time I was young, inspiring me to reach for everything I might be able to be. When I listen to his music now it’s like an anthem, a rush of inspiration to never let anything stop me or redirect my path.

Tyre tracks and broken hearts / That’s all we’re leaving behind / It doesn’t matter what we’re losing / It only matters what we’re going to find

What’s your Meat Loaf at the moment?

One Reply to “A Meat Loaf for Every Moment”

  1. Thanks for the link!

    Also, it probably doesn’t need to be said. But I love this post. It is 100% truth.

    Meat Loaf himself refuses to tell you what a song means to him because he knows that his listeners have their own meanings, and he doesn’t want to muddy the waters trying to make it all about himself. His songs are meant for us to feel. I think that’s part of what makes his music so accessible and incredible.

    But yeah… So much love for this post. <3

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