Remainers who won’t back Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to take power as a caretaker Prime Minister in a bid to block no-deal Brexit have been branded ‘Meat Loaf remainers’.
It’s a reference to the rock opera superstar’s 1993 comeback hit “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I won’t do that)”.
You see, Meat Loaf remainers would never let Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10. They would do anything to stop hard Brexit, but they won’t do that.
But dig a little deeper and the idea of planning Brexit strategy based on the songs of Meat Loaf and his genius songwriter Jim Steinman doesn’t sound like that bad an idea.
For example, in response to yesterday’s Meat-based hilarity, one Brexit-backing follower tweeted: “I just want us to leave the EU like a Bat out of Hell!”
And while the spirit of bravado in Meat Loaf’s debut anthem may appeal to Brexiteers, it’s possible our friend hasn’t listened to it all the way to the end.
If he had, he’d know the song’s protagonist, drunk on the object of his desires and hitting the highway like a battering ram on a silver black Phantom bike, fails to see an upcoming turn in the road.
The resulting motorcycle crash is so fiery and violent that Meat Loaf’s character’s final sight before expiring is that of his own still-beating heart bursting out of his chest cavity in an explosion of blood and chrome.
In the end, Bat out of Hell is a remainer anthem – a cautionary tale about the dangers of recklessly pursuing an impossible dream without thought of the cost.
This theme is developed further in one of the 12-minute epic’s many bridges.
“I know that I’m damned if I never get out,” Meat sings. “And maybe I’m damned if I do.”
If you squint a bit, the next line could be: “But with every other beat I’ve got left in my heart, I know I’d rather be damned with EU.”
The Meat and Steinman songbook is littered with tales which may as well be Brexit parables.
In fact, had a musical based on the songs not just transferred from the West End to Broadway, it might be tempting to write one.
Bat out of Hell: The Musical is set in a fictional future New York City, ravaged by the fallout from the “chemical wars”.
But the script would barely need tweaking to turn it into a post-no-deal British dystopia, complete with populist leaders, ‘lost’ teenagers living in subterranean slums and rioting against the older generation responsible for this mess.
“Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back” could be the scream of Britain’s forgotten towns, left to rot first by globalisation, then by a crashing economy.
Boris Johnson’s entire approach to Brexit exists in Meat Loaf’s best non-Steinman power ballad, I’d Lie For You (And That’s The Truth).
“I’d lie for you and that’s the truth / Do anything you asked me to / I’d even sell my soul for you / I’d do it all for you / If you just believe in me….”
Corbyn’s approach to Tories may as well have come from the spoken-word intro to You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night).
“On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?”
And it’s technically not a Meat Loaf song, but it’s tempting to imagine Dominic Cummings, sitting in his stationery cupboard, plaintively singing “Making Love out of Nothing At All,” the super-hit Steinman penned for Aussie popsters Air Supply.
“I know just how to whisper and I know just how to cry/ I know just where to find the answers and I know just how to lie/
“I know just how to fake it and I know just how to scheme/I know just when to face the truth and then I know just when to dream.”
Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through reminds Brexiteers: “You can’t run away forever, but there’s nothing wrong with getting a good head start”
And the message of its companion rocker on the Bat out of Hell II album, Out of the Frying Pan (and Into The Fire) is so basic it’s barely worth explaining.
But when it comes down to it, if Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson was a real Meat Loaf Remainer, she’d have listened to the words of Meat’s quintessential radio-hit ballad and decided:
“I want to stop Brexit. I need to stop Brexit. But there ain’t no way I’m ever going to love the idea of Jeremy Corbyn being Prime Minister.
“But don’t be sad, cos two out of three ain’t bad.”