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The Fray: How to Save a Life Meaning

Song Released: 2006

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How to Save a Life Lyrics

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Step one you say we need to talk
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...


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    Oct 31st, 2012 10:58am report

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    Oct 21st, 2012 10:33pm report

    I Think It's About A Person who has broken up with their Boy/Girl friend and the person they broke up with is trying to commit suicide or has commited suicide and he is trying to tell you how to save a life.


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    Sep 27th, 2012 9:12am report

    I don't know that much about The Fray but I've read that it's about how Slade was trying to help a drug-addicted teen. For me, this song is about that but more. It's about a friend who has some sort of mental illness (the drug-addicted teen most likely suffered in that way) and how much as they slide down the path of illness, you have to watch and try to help- if you get it right, you save a life. But if you get it wrong... I guess, for me, since I've had friends who've been ill, it's just about the process of losing someone and the struggle we face in helping them, in saving their life. The song tells a tale about Slade saving a life by helping this teen and the process but it tends to represent their experiences of the observer to a mental illness instead of the victim.
    Have to say, it's a goddam brilliant song. It absolutely captures the emotions of "saving a life", so to speak. I love it because it lets people empathise who have felt that way. This is why I love The Fray.


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    Sep 9th, 2012 9:59am report

    To me, this is about losing a friend to suicide. That feeling when you feel that it's your fault not noticing earlier, that moment when everything collapse on you...... it's just too painful. The regret for not caring a bit more, for not listening for a bit more, for not understanding...... it's a painful reality.


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    Jul 23rd, 2012 7:58am report

    For me personally this song is about the guy confronting his friend about a serious problem. it might be just me because recently i had to confront one of my best buddies about a lying problem that was getting really bad. it was exactly the same thing as in the song, it was really hard to get him to talk and it was really frustrating. i think the first verse is about addressing the problem, then the second verse is about the guys friend getting defensive about his problem while it's getting harder for the guy to stick to his argument but he knows he has to help the friend who's in this downward spiral. of course the singers friend doesn't have to have a lying problem like my buddy but it seems like it's something like that, like lying or drugs or self harming. i know there's an official meaning but that's just what it means for me


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    Jul 10th, 2012 7:46pm report

    The song how to save a life is originally about the lead singer. He help someone along who had a bad time with drugs, alcohol, or suicidal thoughts. I remember this song because I personally believe that he wrote it not only because of who ever he helped but to send a message like hey! If you know someone who is hurting themselves or killing themselves by drugs alcohol,ect. Then you can't stand there and not do anything. Help those people. Even I you don't know them. Help them because if you don't and they pass away them you'll be scared and always wonder could I have done something more to help? That answer would be yes. Always I someone would have told me they were doing something or having thoughts I would have stopped them and gotten them help no matter what.. Even if it were my best friend and they hated me I'd rather have them alive and hate me then dead an love me...


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    Jun 2nd, 2012 6:20pm report

    An older sister is watching her little 8 year year old sister die. She thinks to her self as she looks at her sister, just about to die " I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life " Her sister ends up dying at the young age of 8. Her parents and now the only child in the family, wished that they would have done something different. But as they watch God walk away with there youngest, they kneel down in pray. After, they are fading away. There little girl waving goodbye, and all there parents are wishing is that they would have known how to save a life. There little 8 year old daughters life.


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    May 23rd, 2012 5:43am report

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    May 6th, 2012 5:25pm report

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    Apr 13th, 2012 4:29pm report

    I interpreted this as a friend that has schizophrenia. It kinda sounds like that when it talks about the voices and when you get left she stays right. Also the struggles with staying up all night worrying what you might do next. This is what my health teacher and what the band talks about in a interview with E.


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    Mar 19th, 2012 3:27pm report

    The song makes me think of domestic violence even though it probably isn't, but some of the lines remind me of breaking up with an abuser


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    Mar 17th, 2012 3:31pm report

    when i heard this song it reminded me of my sons and how they were so close to me as little kids but through the years two very important people to me, seem like we lost our friendship which was always unimaginable to me but through the weekends and the manipulation of thier mother and the very real problems with the United States and thier child custody laws, the father is almost always made to be outside looking in.I mean every other weekend and "deadbeat dad" who made up these rules and if you look at this with an open mind there are alot of fathers who lost evrything not when they divorced but when thier children were manipluated from their life,oh but a fathers not suppose to have a heart and feel pain ,he is just suppose to pay ,thats only the time they consider him a father. anyways song reminds me of this.


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    Mar 16th, 2012 3:33pm report

    this song reminds me of my friend.. she is in heaven right now. the reason why this song reminds me so much of her is because , she would always tell us her friends, that her mom and brothers would hit her and treat her bad and we always thought she was exaggerating,never really did anything bc you would never expect that, till one day she asked for help at school and one of the teachers was gonna take her from there. when her mother found out she and the brother killed her that day that same morning.. It was horrible :( worst experiences of my life.

    Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
    Somewhere along in the bitterness
    And I would have stayed up with you all night ; IF I WOULDVE TRIED TO HELPI WOULDVE BEEN THERE WITH HER... and maybe couldve even saved her :(
    Had I known how to save a life

    Thats like me telling her to tell God everything. idk this song jus really gets to me :(


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    Mar 7th, 2012 3:26pm report

    I think this song is about drugs and a friend tries to help a friend through his drug problems. here:

    Step one, you say we need to talk:
    you are telling your friend you guys need to talk (obivously)

    He walks, you say, sit down, it's just a talk:
    You are assuring your friend that it is a harmless talk

    He smiles politely back at you, you stare politely right on through:
    Your friend doesn't know where this is going so he is unsuspecting and you arent going to be all buddy-buddy with him because you know this will be a hard talk

    Some sort of window to your right, as he goes left, and you stay right:
    the friend is trying to not get on the subject of drugs but you stay firm

    Between the lines of fear and blame, you begin to wonder why you came:
    there's fear and blame in the air, and you start second-guessing yourself if you should do this or not and why did you get yourself into this

    Let him know that you know best, cause after all you do know best:
    You're assuring the friend that you know what's best for everyone (obviously)

    Try to slip past his defense, without granting innocence:
    The friend is trying to deny everything and you have to stay firm and not let anything knock you out of pattern

    Lay down a list of what is wrong, the things you've told him all along. and pray to god he hears you (two times):
    You tell him everything wrong that's been happening, the things that you have told the friend all along. You're hoping it will get through

    As he begins to raise his voice, you lower yours and grant him one last choice:
    The friend starts to get angry at all these accusations and you stay calm and give him a choice

    Drive until you lose the road, or break with the ones you've followed:
    the friend needs to keep going how he's going until something bad happens (EX: you die) or stop doing what he has been doing

    He will do one of two things. he will admit to everything, or he's just not the same, and you'll begin to wonder why you came:
    the friend will either admit to the drugs or he'll just say that he's changed and he hasn't been doing them. You will again wonder if this is all worth it:

    Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness:
    What could you do that could have prevented this from happening. you lost your friend to the drugs (which caused the bitterness)

    I would've stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life:
    You would've done anything to keep this from happening to your friend, had you known what to do.

    It's a truly beautiful and amazing song, it has always been one of my favorites.
    Thanks so much for reading!


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    Feb 25th, 2012 2:33am report

    This song means that you need to shake yo sass before you die.

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