“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meat Loaf

Once when a friend was making fun of how long many of the songs I like are, they said that I was trying to have a single song that encapsulates all of human experience. I was exaggerating, but I said, “You mean ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light?'”

The song is separated into three parts in the liner notes, so I’m going to more or less write about each part separately.

Part 1. Paradise

“I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday” opens Steinman’s tale of car sex gone wrong. It’s his version of “once upon a time” and explicitly sets the song long ago–Meat Loaf’s character is a now-jaded adult remembering with his (presumably) now-wife how they got together even though they can no longer stand each other. Their lives are now filled with “cold and lonely . . . deep dark night[s],” even though they remember the “paradise by the dashboard light” by the lake all those years ago.

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