Did Phil Rizzuto Not Realize What ‘Paradise By the Dashboard Lights’ Was About When He Did His Play-By-Play for the Song?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the music urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC LEGEND: Phil Rizzuto didn’t realize that the play-by-play that he contributed to “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” was about sex.

The hit song, “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” by Meat Loaf (written by Jim Steinman) had a really cool bit in with Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto doing play-by-play for nominally a baseball game, but really the teen guy in the song trying to have sex with his girlfriend.

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What is “That” in the Meatloaf Song “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: It is a mystery as to what “that” is in the hit Meatloaf song, “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”

This is a bit of a goofier legend than normal, but reader Erica wrote in to say that she was reading AllMusic and saw a review of the song that stated:

The lyrics build suspense by portraying a romance-consumed lover who pledges to do anything in the name of love except ‘that,’ a mysterious thing that he will not specify. This mystery becomes clear in the second part, where the woman he loves prophesizes that once the glow of love wears off that “you’ll see that its time to move on” and “sooner or later you’ll be screwing around,” an accusation that prompts him to give his titular pledge one last time.

She thought that there was a legend here about how people don’t really know what the song is about. After Erica wrote me about it, I noticed that there were actually a few other notable reviewers over the years who WERE confused about what “that” was in the song. Enough that I began to think that this might actually be worthy of writing about. So what the heck, it may be a bit silly, but I’ll tackle the “legend” of what the “that” in “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” is! Truly the most important legend of all-time!
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