The Fray: How to Save a Life Meaning
Song Released: 2006
How to Save a Life Lyrics
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear...
anonymous Nov 3rd, 2006 11:15am report
The title track, "how to save a life," was inspired by slade's experience as a mentor to a crack addicted teen. "I was a sheltered suburban kid when I met this guy. He was a recovering addict, coming out of a really tough teenage life. Thankfully, he was on his way out of that life, so he was able to really look back with some objectivity. The song is more of a memoir about his slow motion descent and all the relationships he lost along the way." destined to be one of the band's greatest hits, slade isn't worried about getting tired of performing the song: "it is the easiest one for me to sing every night. I constantly get emails from people who relate to it."
this is from their official website...
anonymous Nov 4th, 2006 11:11am report
It's about suicide.
I just got out of the hospital. I have major depression and had been struggling with suicidal thoughts for months. And so many people knew and thought if they just said a few cliches to me that it would go away. Or they'd get mad at me or say I wasn't serious and I felt so alone. I know those people, if they had known how to save my life, would have stayed up with me all night. And then they would have taken me to a hospital and gotten me help. The people who knew what to do wouldn't help me. I left messages at psychiatrists' offices begging for help and their secretaries, when I finally got a hold of them, would say they didn't accept my insurance. And when I asked where I was supposed to go, what I was supposed to do, they said they didn't know. Good luck. But my friend and my parents, had they known what to do, they would have done it.
But they didn't know and I couldn't tell them for so long. By the grace of god I finally made my friend take me to the emergency room. I'd listened to this song so many times, and all I could think was, if I didn't get to a hospital, that this is how my mom and my friend would have felt. I didn't want them to feel this way. Every time I hear this song, I wish people would get online and look up how to save their friends, whether it's from drugs or alcohol or suicide. Stay up all night if you need to and get help, whether they're capable of asking for it or not. Get help.
anonymous Oct 10th, 2006 10:39am report
It's about suicide. It's someone trying to help someone from hurting themselfves and thinking back on how they should have listened instead of thinking what to say or how they should have stayed up with the person all night. The song really means how to save a life.
anonymous Apr 30th, 2020 4:14pm report
A man is looking back on a moment in his life where he lost an important person. He's thinking, "Where did I go wrong?" And the line, I lost a Friend says it all. A friend lost to suicide.
anonymous Sep 28th, 2018 9:47am report
This song reminds me of all that I have lost and how many times I have wanted to save there lives how much I wanted to make memories with them that would last forever. there has been some days that I feel it is my job to save everyones life even tho it might cost mine. So this song hits really close to home for me.
anonymous Sep 5th, 2018 9:54am report
It he feels he failed his friend from his sucide now feels he could do better and feels guilty for not saving him he been tried to prevent his sucide but he went ahead and kill himself- this songs really ive tried killl myself so many times but songs help me realise theys more to life now im slowly recovering and another thing think about my unborn child (im 5 weeks pregnant} even though still think about killing myself but with the love my friend who help me though the dark times, my family & my hubby (as the baby) who save me from commiting sucide so if feel like kill yourself watch vid (when a bit better) im living proof im a surviour.
anonymous Aug 15th, 2018 8:15am report
it about sucide and how didnt help him- i know that feels i just tried kill myself last friday and failed but i still feel sucidal and no one listening im getting help with nurses at GP but wait over 2 weeks still im getting help so i know how this feels at the mo hopfully i get help soon all can say if you want to die- get help fast it may save your life
anonymous Dec 11th, 2017 12:57pm report
Somebody guilt tripping about the suicide of a friend who feels like it was they're fault.
anonymous Nov 7th, 2017 11:00pm report
what is the theme in this song? for example, love, happines etc
anonymous Oct 9th, 2017 10:37pm report
There is always going to be someone you can't save and it hurts not being able to understand what they mean. Struggling with depression and anxiety isn't easy, the thoughts get to the point where you can't take it anymore. A friend of mine shared the same feeling and experiences I had so we tried to help each other the best we could to stay away from the thoughts that ate at us, but in the end it was enough to handle for her.
anonymous Oct 1st, 2017 10:48pm report
This is the original intention:
Slade claims that the song is about all of the people that tried to reach out to the boy but were unsuccessful. As Slade says in an interview, the boy's friends and family approached him by saying, "Quit taking drugs and cutting yourself or I won't talk to you again," but all he needed was some support. The boy was losing friends and going through depression. He lost his best friend and could not deal with it. The verses of the song describe an attempt by an adult to confront a troubled teen. In the chorus, the singer laments that he himself was unable to save a friend because he did not know how.
anonymous Sep 12th, 2017 9:03am report
I think its about someone who needs help and its not too late to solve their problems with the help of good and trusting friends.
I've come back back on and off to looping this song for a decade now.
I've always interpreted the lyrics as:
Two lovers. They have been together for at least a year now. Song is speaking to a younger, innocent girl who has her shit together. She's confronting her (functioning addict) older boyfriend. He kept his addiction a secret from her, she just found out.
He loves her back. Deep down he knows if he breaks her heart he will be lost forever.
His addictions take control though. Her heart breaks. She feels guilty she could have done something to save him.
The song is her reflection years after she's moved on.
anonymous Jul 2nd, 2017 7:18pm report
hi I'm 13 and my friend died this year too. she was only 12. I think the song is about suicide. we could have listen to the problems of the person/s we loved. but when we recognized that it was really serious it was too late. and we think it was/is our fault. too late... :-(
anonymous May 25th, 2017 5:58pm report
Hi guys I think this song is about how a boy had a suicidal friend and didn't do anything about it until iit was to late. I struggled with suicide for a while I flt like it was the only way to stop everything, but its not. My friends out there who are struggling with suicide don't do it please I beg you. I love you. The world excepts you so except yourself. I love am of you out there. If any off you can guess my name you will be happy to hear it
anonymous Apr 9th, 2017 4:31pm report
In my opinion this song is about a person who lost his friend who committed suicide, and he is trying to figure out were he went wrong and by his friend did it. I have had experience with a friend and cousin and myself who has thought about suicide. Luckily I was ablke to get help and my cousin was to. If you are having thoughts get help as soon as possible. You are north it. The world loves you, people love you, I love all of you. The world excepted you so except yourself.
anonymous Apr 5th, 2017 4:04pm report
actually the song is based on a story with the lead singer Isaac Slade. He was a mentor at a camp for troubled teens and he was paired with a boy who had a lot of problems. Well the boy i think died in a car accident with this song playing. Long story short it doesn't matter what the song is really based on. What matters is how people connect with it. i first thought it was about suicide but then i found it was something else. i know what its like to lose someone. I used to cry every time i heard this song. But yeah this song is all based on how you feel you can connect.
More The Fray song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|A Day In The Life||anonymous|
|Sad But True||anonymous|
|Friday I'm In Love||anonymous|
|Boulevard of Broken Dreams||anonymous|
|Blood on the Dance Floor||anonymous|
|Shut Up & Drive||anonymous|
|From The Dining Table||anonymous|