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View Full Version : Meatloaf's "2 out of 3 Ain't Bad" - A Mix-Up?


Jinx
05-14-2004, 12:21 AM
While I get the gist of this song, the meaning to his lyrics see all jumbled. First, it sounds like he's admitting to his SO that their relationship cannot ever be anything more than what it is, and so it must end here. And yet, in the same breath, he says you've been cold to me for so long that he's crying icycles instead of tears. Huh? :confused: Does that really mesh with the image he's trying to portray of someone to whom he'd say "I want you, I need you, but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you, so don't be sad..."? Like, a person that is as cold as all that would even feel sadness over these words? I don't get it. :mad: I've listened to this song a hundred times and I don't get it. :mad:

DO other SDopers agree? There's something inconsistent about his lyrics in this song, and his other songs just flat-out suck, IMHO. - Jinx

Wasabee
05-14-2004, 12:26 AM
Taking a shot..

I'm a Meatloaf fan but I am not staring at the lyrics so maybe this is faulty....

The guy DOES love her. BUT he got hurt before by someone else who said the "I want you, I need you..." line and that messed him up. So he's afraid of getting hurt again so HE'S doing the hurting.

Little Nemo
05-14-2004, 12:34 AM
Meatloaf still loves this other woman who didn't love him ("There's only one girl that I will ever love/And that was so many years ago/And though I know I'll never get her out of my heart/She never loved me back, ooh I know"). So he can't love the woman he's singing to.

What I had forgotten about the song was that it's the woman not Meatloaf who's ending the relationship.

Annie-Xmas
05-14-2004, 07:53 AM
The woman is ending the relationship because the guy doesn't love her. He's trying to explain WHY he doesn't love her, and also that he understands her position because he's been there.

Zebra
05-14-2004, 09:13 AM
IIRC doesn't he tell a few different stories in the song?

One where he says it to a woman and one where a woman says it to him?

Annie-Xmas
05-14-2004, 10:30 AM
The last verse goes:

Well, there's only one woman I will ever love
And that was so many years ago.
And though I know I'll never get her out of my life.
She never loved me back. Oooo, I know.
I remember how she left me on that rainy night.
How she kissed me and got out of my bed.
And though I begged her and I pleaded with her not to go
She packed her bags and turned right away.
And she kept on telling me, she kept on telling me....

I want you, I need you, but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you.
So don't feel bad. Cause two out of three ain't bad.

I love that album, though I think "For Crying out Loud" is a better song.

Peter Morris
05-14-2004, 10:37 AM
The OP seems confused mainly by the line "you've been cold to me for so long", and wonders why MeatLoaf would want to stay with her.

The relevent verse goes:

I poured it on and I poured it out
I tried to show you just how much I care
I'm tired of words and I'm too hoarse to shout
But you've been cold to me so long
I'm crying icicles instead of tears

My interpretation of the line is that it refers to only a few hours, they've been talking about it all night, ever since ML admitted that he is unable to love her. Before tonight, she was always warm to him.

jk1245
05-14-2004, 11:14 AM
OK, I thought this song was about a guy dumping his current GF cuz he doesn't love her and using the same words that his ex (who he does love) used to dump him for the same reason.

After examing the lyrics in question (http://songlyrics.com/song-lyrics/Meat_Loaf/Bat_Out_Of_Hell/2_Out_Of_3_Aint_Bad/146285.html), I must say I now agree with Jinx. Loaf doesn't know what he wants apparently, and can't decide if his current GF is cold or loving.

Witness:

"I tried to show you just how much I care" Well, do you or don't you? You've already said you don't love her

"Baby you can cry all night.." I though she was so cold, she makes you cry icicles? Seems a cold bitch wouldn't cry all night over you

Granted, we are probaby WAY overanalyzing this song.

What I do know is that if you are 16 years old and buzzed on Coors Light, this song is FANTASTIC to get a hummer to. Maybe that's all I need to know

amarinth
05-14-2004, 02:12 PM
Some people can be really pissed off at people they like a lot (or even love) and/or acting one way while feeling another.... or doing and feeling all types of weird, crazy, and conflicting things at once.

Anyway, the Woman is in love with the Singer, and has recently figured out that the Singer doesn't love her back. It is unclear when she figured this out (possibly earlier that night, possibly a few weeks ago) - but it doesn't matter, she's been acting "cold" to the Singer since she found out. Does that mean she doesn't love him? Not necessarily. She might just be pissed. She might be trying to punish him into loving her (which never works, of course, but still happens)

The song takes place on the night of the "Why don't/can't you love me?" fight that eventually ensues. There has obviously been talking, shouting, crying, &tc. And so this song is the Singer's "last word" in the whole process.

Eonwe
05-14-2004, 03:24 PM
I love this song, but I've got to say that while he can write a rockin' tune, Jim Steinman's lyrics tend to have all the finese of a freight train, and lack in consistancy. Hell, 15 years after this album, he leaves us wondering what the heck the Meat won't do for love.

That said, as far as 'deep' and 'meaning' go, Two out of Three Ain't Bad is the tops for Steinman.

BubbaDog
05-14-2004, 03:35 PM
The theme I got out of it was "Wounded hearts create wounded hearts"

ML's song "character" got his heart stomped by a woman who apparently couldn't love him (the inferrence is that she too had the same treatment earlier and was unwillingly passing it on). He in turn is now unwillingly breaking the heart of the song's subject character.

Elton sings the circle of life; Meatloaf sings the circle of heartbreak.

jackelope
05-14-2004, 06:23 PM
I think we're looking waaaaay too deep here. Mr. Loaf has a fine sense of showmanship and all that, but I suspect most of these lyrics were chosen because they rhyme.

ivylass
05-14-2004, 08:13 PM
If you want to talk about mixed up, Objects in the Rearview Mirror is a classic one.

The song goes, "Objects in the rearview mirror/May appear closer than they are." But that is not what is printed on a rearview mirror. "Images are closer than they appear" or something like that, which was used to great effect in Jurassic Park.

Did Meatloaf confuse the writing on the rearview mirror? Or is he saying you must not let long-ago events overwhelm your present?

I like to think it's the latter, but there's still a sneaking suspicion that he might have forgotten the exact wording on a rearview mirror.

Jinx
05-14-2004, 08:27 PM
...I must say I now agree with Jinx. Loaf doesn't know what he wants apparently, and can't decide if his current GF is cold or loving.

Witness:

"I tried to show you just how much I care" Well, do you or don't you? You've already said you don't love her

"Baby you can cry all night.." I though she was so cold, she makes you cry icicles? Seems a cold bitch wouldn't cry all night over you

Granted, we are probaby WAY overanalyzing this song...

It's a shame he missed his mark. Maybe Meatloaf was drunk when he jotted the lyrics down on some cocktail napkin? It's a shame he didn't stick with one direction and go with it in that first verse. It's an awesome song if you get passed that. Shame he didn't think it through... - Jinx

Jinx
05-14-2004, 08:34 PM
I love this song, but I've got to say that while he can write a rockin' tune, Jim Steinman's lyrics tend to have all the finese of a freight train, and lack in consistancy. Hell, 15 years after this album, he leaves us wondering what the heck the Meat won't do for love.

That said, as far as 'deep' and 'meaning' go, Two out of Three Ain't Bad is the tops for Steinman.

I agree. The lyrics to Meatloaf's songs roll off my tongue like a mouthful of peanut butter, or alum! ;) - Jinx

Peter Morris
05-14-2004, 08:39 PM
NB, Meatloaf doesn't actually write his own songs, the two albums of his I have were entirely written by Jim Steinman.

Marley23
05-14-2004, 10:04 PM
I love this song, but I've got to say that while he can write a rockin' tune, Jim Steinman's lyrics tend to have all the finese of a freight train, and lack in consistancy. Hell, 15 years after this album, he leaves us wondering what the heck the Meat won't do for love.

Woman: "After a while you'll forget everything
It was a brief interlude and a midsummer night's fling
And you'll see that it's time to move on"

Meat: "I won't do that! No I won't do that!"

W: "I know the territory, I've been around
It'll all turn to dust and we'll all fall down
And sooner or later, you'll be screwing around"

M: "I won't do that! No I won't do that!"

I think it's clear what he means. The problem is that it doesn't work with the title and the motif of the song: screwing around and moving on don't stand in opposition to the title, there should be a contradiction of some kind. "I would do anything for love, but I won't leave you and cheat on you?" That doesn't work at all. Those are things you're not supposed to do in the first place, numbskull!

Eonwe
05-14-2004, 10:52 PM
I think it's clear what he means. The problem is that it doesn't work with the title and the motif of the song: screwing around and moving on don't stand in opposition to the title, there should be a contradiction of some kind. "I would do anything for love, but I won't leave you and cheat on you?" That doesn't work at all. Those are things you're not supposed to do in the first place, numbskull!


Which is why I reject that interpretation. It makes zero sense for him to say, "the only thing I won't do for your love is to cheat on you." How could that be what he means? I prefer ambiguity to straight out nonsense! :)

DoctorJ
05-15-2004, 12:21 AM
I think the message is clear--there ain't no Coupe de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.

Think about it.

Marley23
05-15-2004, 01:40 AM
I think we've established that there's nonsense aplenty in the Meatloaf canon.

Peter Morris
05-15-2004, 06:43 AM
Hell, 15 years after this album, he leaves us wondering what the heck the Meat won't do for love.

It took me a while to realise what you meant.

I always thought it referrred to the line "I won't llie to you and that's a fact"

I'll do anything for your love - except lie to you.

Annie-Xmas
05-15-2004, 07:39 AM
I love this song, but I've got to say that while he can write a rockin' tune, Jim Steinman's lyrics tend to have all the finese of a freight train, and lack in consistancy. Hell, 15 years after this album, he leaves us wondering what the heck the Meat won't do for love.

That said, as far as 'deep' and 'meaning' go, Two out of Three Ain't Bad is the tops for Steinman.

I'd vote for "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Of course, that would be before Michael Crawford ruined it in "Dance of the Vampire."

janiejungletemptress
05-15-2004, 10:35 AM
Just need to interject:

my dirty little secret is that I am a closet meatloaf fan. I have all of the albums, but they are hidden away solely for my pleasure.

Angua
05-15-2004, 10:40 AM
I think the message is clear--there ain't no Coupe de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.

Think about it.

Now, being a big Meatloaf fan, I have to ask, WTF is a Coupe de Ville? Or am I being dense?

janiejungletemptress
05-15-2004, 10:45 AM
Now, being a big Meatloaf fan, I have to ask, WTF is a Coupe de Ville? Or am I being dense?


It is a car Go Here (http://webcom.com/reynen/72caddy.html)

Angua
05-15-2004, 10:48 AM
Oohh... Nice. Thanks for that.

Which means that the "There ain't no Coupe de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box" is either:

*really deep
*a load of nonsense.

astorian
05-15-2004, 01:22 PM
I think that, in many cases, Jim Steinman starts with a cliche or figure of speech, thinks "Hmm.... THAT would make a great song title," and then proceeds to build an entire song around that title. And while that CAN be a clever idea, it's also very easy to get boxed into a corner, and have to FORCE lyrics around a title, whether they really fit neatly or not.

I have little doubt that Steinman STARTED with the titles "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" and "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," then tried to write music and lyrics around those titles. as a result, some of the lyrics are bent every which way to make them fit a title that's been set in stone.

Eonwe
05-15-2004, 02:03 PM
I'd vote for "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Of course, that would be before Michael Crawford ruined it in "Dance of the Vampire."


Oh. . . my. . . god!


I've got a bootleg CD of that show, and it has got to be one of the most painful things I've ever listened to! Half of the time I was laughing at all the funny spots Mr. Steinman slipped in previously released material, and the rest of the time I was feeling really bad for the chorus, who were for the most part the only talented people involved with that show at all.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled Meatloaf thread.

Peter Morris
05-15-2004, 02:20 PM
Oohh... Nice. Thanks for that.

Which means that the "There ain't no Coupe de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box" is either:

*really deep
*a load of nonsense.

It's neither. Cracker Jacks give away cheap toys* in their boxes of popcorn, but they don't give away expensive cars. This fits right in with not drilling for oil on a city street nor finding a diamond on the beach.

*Some of the prizes have become valuable collector's items (http://hdonline.com/2003/January/19/LFlist2.htm) years later, but they were cheap rubbish when first given.

Czarcasm
05-15-2004, 04:59 PM
His best song, of course, was the duet "Dead Ringer For Love". :D

Marley23
05-15-2004, 08:49 PM
I think that, in many cases, Jim Steinman starts with a cliche or figure of speech, thinks "Hmm.... THAT would make a great song title," and then proceeds to build an entire song around that title.
The fact that Meat has not one, but two albums called 'Bat Out of Hell' is strong testimony to your theory...

Peter6
10-23-2015, 10:51 PM
I think it is the same woman all through the song. When he was a young man he loved her but she did not love him and she left him. She went to find her "dream" man, her "gold" her "oil" her "ruby" etc. At the start of the song he says "I poured it on and I poured it out
I tried to show you just how much I care"
But now he is too tired and he is hoarse of explaining how cold she was to him when she left him to find a "better" man. He would see her dating guys and be heartbroken about it and she was giving him the cold shoulder. Now she is back and wants him, possibly because she has finally realized that the ideal man was him all along and no one else wants her now, but the love he had for her was in the past and each day he saw her with someone else it was breaking his heart beyond repair where it got to the point that he could not love her like he once did.

cochrane
10-23-2015, 11:48 PM
The fact that Meat has not one, but two albums called 'Bat Out of Hell' is strong testimony to your theory...

And since this was originally posted in 2004, there are now three albums called "Bat Out of Hell." *




* Yes, I noticed this a zombie, and I know Marley has been absent for a while. Just sayin'.

Jragon
10-24-2015, 12:28 AM
Woman: "After a while you'll forget everything
It was a brief interlude and a midsummer night's fling
And you'll see that it's time to move on"

Meat: "I won't do that! No I won't do that!"

W: "I know the territory, I've been around
It'll all turn to dust and we'll all fall down
And sooner or later, you'll be screwing around"

M: "I won't do that! No I won't do that!"

I think it's clear what he means. The problem is that it doesn't work with the title and the motif of the song: screwing around and moving on don't stand in opposition to the title, there should be a contradiction of some kind. "I would do anything for love, but I won't leave you and cheat on you?" That doesn't work at all. Those are things you're not supposed to do in the first place, numbskull!

So what you're saying is that Meat Loaf should've just outright said he's never gonna give her up, let her down, run around and desert her, make her cry, say goodbye, or tell a lie and hurt her?

standingwave
10-24-2015, 01:06 AM
IIRC doesn't he tell a few different stories in the song?

One where he says it to a woman and one where a woman says it to him?

This. According to songfacts....
(http://songfacts.com/detail.php?id=31578)Jim Steinman, who was Meat Loaf's songwriter, turned the saying into a song about the elusive nature of love. The song begins with Meat Loaf getting kicked to the curb by his girl, presumably because he won't tell her he loves her. He makes the case that even though he will never love her, he's good enough, since after all he does want her and need her, and happy endings are only for fairy tales.

We then learn that his commitment issues step from a previous relationship - one with the only woman he will ever love. She once left him with the same explanation: I want you, I need you, but I'll never love you.

dba Fred
10-24-2015, 06:33 AM
If you’d sent in the box tops for the secret decoder ring, you’d know that Meat Steinman had been thru the desert on a horse with no name, calling Wildfire, but no one heard at all, not even the chair.
Does that clear it up?

dba Fred
10-24-2015, 06:39 AM
(missed the edit window)
“You’ve been cold for me so long” = “When there came a killing frost”

Acsenray
10-24-2015, 07:43 AM
Meatloaf isn't known for perfectly clear lyrics. For example, (without looking up the lyrics) do you know what he's talking about when he sings "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that"?

Hermione
10-24-2015, 08:05 AM
Meatloaf isn't known for perfectly clear lyrics. For example, (without looking up the lyrics) do you know what he's talking about when he sings "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that"?

They mention some of it upthread, but the upshot is--it's whatever he sang about in the line right before.

"But I'll never forget the way you feel right now, oh no, no way..."

"But I'll never forgive myself if we don't go all the way tonight..."

"But I'll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life, no way..."

"But I'll never do it better than I do it with you..."

Sdsurfer
02-01-2016, 04:04 PM
All you guys are reading too much in to it with these lyrics. They are just rhyming phrases and words that sound cool and happen to fit in with the theme of the song.

Mean Mr. Mustard
02-01-2016, 05:07 PM
Cold Meatloaf.


mmm

Face Intentionally Left Blank
02-01-2016, 05:43 PM
Cold Meatloaf.


mmm

Meat Loaf AGAINNNN!?

CairoCarol
02-01-2016, 07:31 PM
Meat Loaf AGAINNNN!?

Would you rather eat brains?

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