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...
buggaboo102 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!
anonymous Feb 25th, 2012 2:33am report
This song means that you need to shake yo sass before you die.
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anonymous Feb 14th, 2012 2:27pm report
The way i see it
The first verse- how to get someone into a conversation "say we need to talk, he walks, say sit down its just a talk" (like he's avoiding it) "he smiles politely back at you, you stare politely right on through" (the guilty smile, they might know whats going on. A window of opportunity to bring up the subject (possible that the person has been depressed/suicidal) and he tries to dodge around it, but you catch him and bring it up. You are worried it might be your fault and afraid something bad will happen to them.
The second verse- let him know you know whats going on, try to get through his fakeness (e.i everything is o.k) tell them everything that you notice is wrong with him and hope he's listening.
Third verse- "as he begins to raise his voice" (as in he is really defensive, yelling i'm not suicidal) you calm down, and "then drive until you loose the road or break with the ones who follow"- once you two are alone he will either admit to everything (say he is suicidal) or just admit he feels sad, not the same as he use to.
the chorus- asks yourself what you messed up/how you didn't notice because you were focused on yourself, "I would have stayed up with you all night"- more people are suicidal at night, he could have talked him through it.
jamesmcavoy Dec 18th, 2011 12:55am report
its about how everybody can do something to save a life just talking to them for a split second can help chance their mind about something that can affect the life of others so much i have been in this situation and think its about failing to save the ones you love from the things that their afraid of. "how to save a life" been repeated so many times could suggest that no matter how many time you go over things it wont take back what has already been done and that it is too late to go back
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anonymous Aug 5th, 2011 8:03am report
I looked up the lyrics to this song and found comments underneath calling the fray shit and the lyrics horrible. Easy to say, sure as this ordinarily wouldn't have struck a chord with me either. However, I have to be honest. As a 17 year old girl who has been hospitalized and institutionalized twice for cocaine abuse, got clean and relapse the meaning of this song feels so personal. I almost think that god drove me to search the YouTube video for it spontaneously about 30 minutes ago because the first thing that came to mind while listening was that the song is about a fearful parent pleading with a drug addicted child. The thought brought me to tears. It's very humbling to recognize the pain that my addiction has caused my family and I'm so blessed that they have yet to give up on my. Mom, dad I love you so much. Thank you for relentlessly being there to save my life as a fight so hard to throw it away.
anonymous Jul 11th, 2011 7:13am report
I think this song is about having a friend that committed suicide, and now he is thinking back on how he could have saved them. "if I'd known how to save a life..." He wishes that he would have been more understanding and taken his friends problems more seriously, and looking back he believes that he could have saved his life.
anonymous Jul 7th, 2011 7:07am report
I think this song is about knowing someone who is suffering from something that's killing them slowly but not knowing about that suffering. Then you suddenly lose that person and that's when you start to figure out what's wrong with that person. It's about regretting the fact that you didn't do anything to help that person.
anonymous Jun 29th, 2011 6:15pm report
I think the song is about a girl breaking up with a guy, and then the guy gets so upset about it that he goes and kills himself.
i think the song could be about a girl having some kind of problem and had to break up with her boyfriend bc shes about to die and she doesnt want to tell him, because she doesnt want him to worry, then he gets mad at her and walks away, then when he found out she died, he regrets not spending every minute she had left with her. hence "i would have stayed up with you all night, had i known how to save a life. "
this is just what i think, personally.
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