Narrative songs: Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Clearly the all-time greatest story-telling song is “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meat Loaf, featuring Ellen Foley as the girl. It was from his 1977 album Bat Out of Hell and was written by Jim Steinman, who wrote most of the music and lyrics of his first two Bat Out of Hell albums. Steinman also wrote “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for Bonnie Tyler, but “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” eclipses everything else he ever did, combined.

In the music video, Karla DeVito plays the girl, but she is just lip-synching to Ellen Foley’s singing.

Boy:
Well, I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday:
a parking lot, a lake, and there was not another car in sight.
Well, I never had a girl looking any better than you did,
and all the kids at school, they were wishing they were me that night.

And now our bodies are oh, so close and tight.
It never felt so good, it never felt so right.
And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife,
glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife.
Come on! Hold on tight!
Well, come on! Hold on tight!

Boy and Girl:
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep, dark night,
I can see paradise by the dashboard light.

Girl:
Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed
’cause we were barely 17 and we were barely dressed.
Ain’t no doubt about it!
Babe, I got to go out and shout it!
Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed

Boy:
’cause we were barely 17 and we were barely dressed.

Baby, don’t you hear my heart, you got it drowning out the radio.
I’ve been waiting so long for you to come along and have some fun.
Well, I gotta let you know: no, you’re never gonna regret it.
So open up your eyes, I got a big surprise, it’ll feel alright, well, I want to make your motor run.

Boy and Girl:
And now our bodies are oh, so close and tight.
It never felt so good, it never felt so right.

Boy:
And we’re glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife, glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife.
Come on! Hold on tight!
Well, come on! Hold on tight!

Boy and Girl:
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep, dark night,
I can see paradise by the dashboard light!

Boy:
Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep, dark night,
paradise by the dashboard light.

Boy and Girl:
You got to do what you can
and let Mother Nature do the rest.
Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed
’cause we were barely 17 and we were barely—

Boy:
We’re gonna go all the way tonight, we’re gonna go all the way tonight, tonight.
We’re gonna go all the way tonight, we’re gonna go all the way tonight, tonight.
We’re gonna go all the way tonight, we’re gonna go all the way tonight, tonight.
We’re gonna go all the way tonight, we’re gonna go all the way tonight, tonight.

Phil Rizutto:
Okay, here we go, we got a real pressure cooker going here. Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the 9th. There’s the windup, and there it is, a line shot up the middle. Look at him go, this boy can really fly. He’s rounding first and really turning it on now. He’s not letting up at all, he’s gonna try for second. The ball is bobbled out in center, and here comes the throw, and what a throw! He’s gonna slide in head first, he’s out. No wait, safe! Safe at second base! This kid really makes things happen out there. The batter steps up to the plate. Here’s the pitch, and he’s going! And what a jump he’s got! He’s trying for third. Here’s the throw, it’s…in the dirt. Safe at third. Holy cow, stolen base! He’s taking a pretty big lead out there, almost daring them to try and pick him off. The pitcher glances over, winds up, and it’s bunted, bunted down the third base line, the suicide squeeze is on. Here he comes, squeeze play, it’s gonna be close. Here’s the throw, here’s the play at the plate. Holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it—

Girl:
Stop right there!
I gotta know right now!
Before we go any further, do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me, will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away, will you make me your wife?
Do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me, will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away, will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now, before we go any further,
do you love me? Will you love me forever?

Boy:
Let me sleep on it.
Baby, baby, let me sleep on it.
Let me sleep on it, I’ll give you an answer in the morning.
Well, let me sleep on it.
Baby, baby, let me sleep on it.
Well, let me sleep on it, I’ll give you an answer in the morning.
Well, let me sleep on it.
Baby, baby, let me sleep on it.
Well, let me sleep on it, I’ll give you an answer in the morning.

Girl:
I gotta know right now, do you love me?
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Will you never leave me, will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away, will you make me your wife?
I gotta know right now, before we go any further,
do you love me? Will you love me forever?

What’s it gonna be, boy? Come on. I can wait all night.
What’s it gonna be, boy? Yes or no?
What’s it gonna be, boy? Yes…or…no?!

Boy:
Let me sleep on it.
Baby, baby, let me sleep on it.
Well, let me sleep on it, I’ll give you an answer in the morning.

Girl and Boy (simultaneously):
I gotta know right now, do you love me?
Let me sleep on it.
Will you love me forever, do you need me?
Baby, baby, let me sleep on it.
Will you never leave me, will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Let me sleep on it, I’ll give you an answer in the morning.
Will you take me away, will you make me your wife?
In the morning, the morning, I’ll tell you in the morning!

Girl:
I gotta know right now, before we go any further, do you love me?
Will you love me forever?

Boy:
Let me sleep on it!

Girl:
Will you love me forever?

Boy:
Let me sleep on it!

Girl:
Will you love me forever?

Boy:
I couldn’t take it any longer, lord, I was crazed!
And when the feeling came upon me like a tidal wave,
I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave
that I would love you till the end of time.
I swore I would love you till the end of time!

Boy and Girl:
So now I’m praying for the end of time
to hurry up and arrive
’cause if I gotta spend another minute with you, I don’t think that I can really survive.
I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow,

Boy:
but God only knows what I can do right now!

Boy and Girl:
I’m praying for the end of time,
it’s all that I can do.
Praying for the end of time
so I can end my time with you!

Boy:
Well, it was long ago and it was far away, and it was so much better than it is today…

Girl:
It never felt so good, it never felt so right, and we were glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife…

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