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The Fray – How To Save A Life lyrics
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 and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness

And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life


Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence

Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life
How to save a life

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life
How to save a life
×



Lyrics taken from /lyrics/t/the_fray/how_to_save_a_life.html

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Corrected by wkdm8s

How To Save A Life meanings Post my meaning

  • r
    + 10
    rosesfade
    I know this song is about suicide, however it is so very personal to me. I confronted a friend, a couple years ago, about some very wrong things he had done to me and to others. He tried to walk away, and I got him to listen; he pretended to agree or at least see what I was saying, but all along as I looked at him I saw pain and anger and aging and brokenness. I couldn't save him, not with love and not with confronting him; I still can't. It is the one thing I would give my life for - this man and his reconciliation - but it would not matter. I lost my friend not that night but long before that night, and that was just the first time I admitted it. I miss you, eric - please, please, please - turn around and see that you can't run from you.
    Add your reply
  • kk_pac
    + 9
    kk_pac
    I think anyone who's ever watched a friend destroy himself thru addiction would totally identify with this song. You know he's lying, acting like he's got everything under control, n it just makes you so angry that he refuses to see what he's doing to himself. You try to make him aware, try to tell him he's wrong, but he keeps on saying everything's fine, that he's in control. You feel as if he doesn't hear you, n you pray that he wakes up, you try not to get angry, but its so hard. Just waitin 4 him to say he's wrong all along, or take that final step.
    N then, he does destroy himself, n you know you did what you can, but it still feels not good enough, you're left with 'what if'. You know you wud have done anything to prevent what happened, but its too late, n all that's left is d guilt that maybe, you didn't try hard enough.
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  • j
    + 7
    joymarshall
    This song is composed and sang by Isaac Slade in memory of his close friend who died saving his (Isaac's) life in a car accident. It's natural between friends or lovers to have misunderstanding. What's more important is for them to talk it over and accept for what they are. Say what they really mean to each other before it's too late. The Fray sings with deep feelings, touching every one's heart with his great piano playing. It is indeed painful and unforgetable to lose a friend by giving up his life for you like Isaac's.
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  • m
    + 6
    musichead07
    I think this song is about someone who had a rlly good friend. But lost them to an argument. In the beginning the friend comes to, I guess, dicuss the situation, but he explains tht although this was his friend. He rlly wasnt interested "he stares politely back at you, you stare politely right on thru" he says he "stays between the wall of fear and blame and he begins to wonder why he came" he strts having 2nd thoughts about saving their friendship. In the 2nd and 3rd verse's he explains tht the fight is over his friend hanging out with the wrong kinda people "drive until you lose the road ..or break with the ones you follow" he's saying either stop hanging out with them or you'll wind up dead. Then his friend says its not his new friends. He's just changed "or he'll say he's just not the same" the whole chorus is the singer saying tht whole situation could've been avoided had he been more of a friend. Rather then letting "bitterness" come between them.
    Add your reply
  • MEVANS14843
    + 6
    MEVANS14843
    Wow, how does anyone get that the idea behind thing song was a friend who got killed in a car accident? Read the first verse- car accident is extremely irrelevant and nonsensical. It's about his friend who was having a drug problem. The singer confronted him and gave him a choice to keep going in the direction he's going and eventually lose control, or break away from those he was doing the drugs with. I understand the song says "drive until you lose the road", but this is merely a metaphor. This is a very deep song and you really have to look inside to understand.
    Add your reply
  • Glasswatar
    + 3
    Glasswatar
    This song is about friendships, but one thing I never got was what did it mean, "How to save a life?" Thx to Tinktastic I understand. Its so sad and I know a couple of people who are pretty close to suicidal and at times I have to give everything up so my friends won't kill themselves. It's hard and I can understand the pain from this song, when if I fail, I'll feel exactly what it means.
    Add your reply
  • U
    + 2
    Unregistered
    It's funny -- before reading that this song is about suicide, I had been 'hearing' it in a very different manner.
    I have been imagining a counseling session between a husband and wife. She is hoping that in the presence of someone else that he will finally hear what she has been saying all along. She has sacrificed so much for this marriage. But realizes that things cannot continue any longer like this: they both need to work to save this shared life -- or it's over.
    Add your reply
  • l
    + 2
    Live4HimOnly
    This song makes me so sad, because I hope that I am never in that position, with a suicidal friend. One of my friends wagged with her boyfriend once, and the dude wasn't a very good type, and I was worried sick, she was alright, but it made me think. If I feel that much worry when a friend wags, what more when that friend is suicidal or anorexic or bulimic? I just have to pray for the right words to say, and trust that Jesus will save a life.
    Add your reply
  • t
    + 2
    TinkTastic
    No. Not to be rude or anything but you are all.
    Wrong. I saw an interview with the leader of The Fray. He said his group went to a camp for kids whos parents had died and were suicidal. They went there as support to help the kids. They got really close to this one kid who lost his mom in a homicide case but the night after the camp was over the little boy who was aobut 12 years old shot and killed himself. So they are saying I would've stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life. Refering to the little boy. They would have tried to help him through it if they knew anything about life saving. If you want to see the original video. Which is incredibly sad you can go to YouTube and type The Fray- How to save a life original video. They have these kids crying and screaming out mom and dad. If you see that you will realize its not about a friend and you will understand what I'm saying. Hope I helped!
    Add your reply
  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    I relate this to my 7 year old cousin who died of lukemia. My dad sat me down and told me and all I thought was "what could i have done? " I was only 9 when he died. Are, "i would have stayed up with you all night had i known how to save a life". I know most comments said its about suicide but I believe it's up to anyone's interpretation and there's no wrong or right one.
    Add your reply
  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    This is sad, and reminds me of my brother who commited suicde a year ago. He and I were the only ones home because my parents had gone out of town. I found his body when I went to wake him up one morning, because he always made breakfast. I miss you, matt. I cry evertime I hear this.
    Anyone who says that this song is not about suicide is just dumb. How much more obvious could the lyrics be? It is obviously about suicide. How can anyone think it's not? Some people just make no sense to me. Are you blind or something? Are you deaf? It's about suicide.
    Add your reply
  • j
    + 1
    Jar0d1313
    Well everyones opinion is different, but mine towards this song is about trying to stop yourself/someone from commiting suicide. Sometime in my life I had thoughst of doing it. I told my girl friend about it. And that the real reason why I hadent done it was because I couldn't stand losing her. I was telling the truth. I told her to listen to this song so that she would know shes the reason why. Now when ever either of us hears the song we start to cry. Thank you olivia for always being there for me. I love you.
    Add your reply
  • NeverSayNever
    + 1
    NeverSayNever
    I performed this in my school's talent show and believe me, if you ever want to perform this one, be warned; it is an extremely difficult song to sing. (Honestly guys, look up this song on Wikipedia.)
    This song really describes my friend and I. A few months ago, I became addicted to antidepressants that were only making it worse. This song would describe her trying to talk me out of it.
    Add your reply
  • s
    + 1
    sarahx3
    I think the song mean that a guy knew what was best for his friend all along just didn't know how to tell him. The friend is taking the wrong path and is ruining his life and the guy could have saved his friend only if he knew the right words to say.
    He gives him a choice to either continue on the roads hes on with drugs, or to stop. He will either admit to everything(first step in the 12 step program to recovery for addicts) or hell say that this is the person he is know and will continue doing what hes going.
    Add your reply
  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    I think this is a song about speaking out to a friend in trouble. To "make a list of things their doing wrong" is being "judgemental" in today's world, when actually it's genuine love. You both feel uncomfortable talking about it, but love will continue the conversation "all night" if that's what it takes to "change the choices" of the one in trouble. He wishes his love could have stretched that far because he lost his friend. This song says "talk about it and do whatever it takes to save their life". Forget being "judgemental". I pray to God they hear you!
    Add your reply
  • b
    0
    Bob Padget
    This song to me, has many different meanings. Non more personal than when I was working with youth. I refuse to get into to many details but one instances comes to mind, There was this kid I was working with at a Juvenile Detention Center and I was starting to get through to him. Until one night, he asked staff to call me because he needed to talk to me, well the staff refused to do so and that night he hung himself. Well I didn't find out about it until the next day when I found out that he specifically asked for the staff to call me and they refused, to do so, I almost hit the roof. I was so Irritated/upset, because I may have actually been able to save his life. Ever since then, on to my to work, I would listen to this song, and before I went in, I would ask God for the wisdom and for the second chance to help save another life, and he has given me every opportunity to do so, and I would like to think that I have saved many lives since. Because it was a real eye opener for me to realize how important my job really was, Because I was trying to save the world, one child at a time.
    Add your reply
  • j
    0
    Julie Santistevan
    It reminds me of my estranged brother he and I had some family problems and he didn't really believe in god so like how the song says how to save a life I pray to god that he hears because I did hope that then.
    But now he was just so selfish and in to himself I always paid foe things for him left him my home and car when our grandmother died but how to save him? That wasn't my job its gods and maybe he'll listen maybe I didn't communicate that well enough for him.
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  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    I believe is about two friends, maybe even from childhood. One of them took the wrong road and even harm his/her friend in some way causing a lot pain. The friend who was harmed confronts him (between the lines of fear and blame) knowing that at the end maybe he won't accept responsibility and uses excuses for his behavior (he'll say he's just not the same) making the hurt friend wonder why he is even trying (you begin to wonder why you came). I do not think is physical death, but more moral death. This friend is lost and has come to the end of the road. He knows too that bitterness separated them and he has lost his friend. He knows there is no way back for his friend and wishes he would have known what to do to help him.
    Add your reply
  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    I believe this is song about a friend sharing his faith, the truth of Jesus christ and the salvation he has for all of us if we will believe that he came and died on the cross for our sins and rose again proving he is the one true and living god and that his love is the greatest gift of all! It's free to all who ask but they must choose to ask, receiving the gift. This is what I believe the artist means by "to save a life"= for all of eternity" but the friend, like so many hurting people, is wrapped up in bitterness and unforgiveness of circumstances in life and relationships and doesn't want to choose eternal life or forgiveness because of the pain, so sad- as a christian i wish i could make all recieve the gift that brings everlasting life and peace to our souls but i don't know "how" to peirce through as the artist proclaims, but i can tell the hurting the truth and "pray to god they hear me" and believe and receive and be free! This song truly is a sad tale many have lived. May the hurting hear it and choose life in Jesus christ for he is the one who truly knows how to save a life!
    Add your reply
  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    This is an amazingly well written. A song like this will bring a tear to your eye. To me this song sounds like the he may have liked the girl, but when her boyfriend broke up with her, she did not think life was worth it anymore. I read alot of other people's meanings about people they know and never realized how much this happens. Maybe this song is sortive to raise awareness?
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  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    Living vicariously through the woman I am so grateful to share life with recently put the meaning to close to home. Last week her interpertation of "how to save a life" became tragically true. Her best friend decided that her life must end and she took her's without the phone call that she believed and wished would come prior to finality. This evening as she was driving to an appointment we heard this song and began to cry. "i would have done anything to save her life". Upon arrival at home I tuned in the fray and they performed that very song. To her friend may your soul arrive at the place that you feel better about life. To the only soulmate I cherish and love, iam with you. I am here for you, and what ever it takes to improve your coping skills I am here unconditionally. Oh and baby if she had let you in chance"s are above average she would still be around. Sadly not the case.
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  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    This is sad, and this song reminds me of my brother who commited suicde a year ago. I'm 14 years old, I was 13 when he died, and he was 17. He and I were the only ones home because my parents had gone out of town. I found his body when I went to wake him up one morning, because he always made breakfast, he was an amazing cook. I miss you, matt. I cry evertime I hear this.
    Anyone who says that this song is not about suicide is just dumb. How much more obvious could the lyrics be? It is obviously about suicide. How can anyone think it's not? Some people just make no sense to me. Are you blind or something? Are you deaf? It's about suicide.
    Add your reply
  • U
    0
    Unregistered
    This is sad, and this song reminds me of my brother who commited suicde a year ago. I'm 14 years old, I was 13 when he died, and he was 17. He and I were the only ones home because my parents had gone out of town. I found his body when I went to wake him up one morning, because he always made breakfast. I miss you, matt. I cry evertime I hear this.
    Anyone who says that this song is not about suicide is just dumb. How much more obvious could the lyrics be? It is obviously about suicide. How can anyone think it's not? Some people just make no sense to me. Are you blind or something? Are you deaf? It's about suicide.
    Add your reply
  • j
    0
    jess1433
    To me, it's not a literal meaning of how to save a life. It's pure dialogue of a breaking partnership. Back and forth, one member of the party confronting the other because their love just broke. This one is trying to hold on, present an ultimatum. The other can either take it or not. If it's not taken, the one presenting it feels like a failure, a smush - how did life even get here in the first place when things started out so well and seemed to be in place the way it "should" have been - how did the love and like for each other just die -why did it end like this?
    Add your reply
  • i
    0
    Iamdale
    This song is so powerful and amazing it mostly reminds me of the Scrubs epidsode where Dr Cox is trying to save the patients in the sacred heart but needs organ donars, then they slowly die and he feels really bad, then just as jd cheers him up, he loses another patient and walks out on the Sacredheart hospital its just amazing.
    I hope if I ever need to, I know how to save a life.
    From Dale.
    Add your reply
  • -HEDGIE-
    0
    -HEDGIE-
    This songs meaning can be related to many things in their own individual way but (although related to a personal experience) the scene that starts to play in my mind is of, Indeed, a girlfriend and a boyfriend but instead of the girlfriend breaking up with her boyfriend I believe that she is confronting him very sloemnly and seriously about some wrong doings or suspected wrong doings on his part, as seems to me in verses 2 and 3. I do think it is pertaining to an actual death and life that was trying to be saved. After the girlfriend confronted her boyfriend he became angry that she suspects him of such things and in a rage breaks up with her (as many relationships end in a spontaneous rage, for a few days and then the two are reunited). The girlfriend, believeing she screwed everything up and lost everything she cared about commits suicide. The verses are a sort of flashback from the chorus which is the boyfriend regretting his actions, saying if he'd of known what would of happened he would of done anything to prevent it because he still loved her although he was temporarily angry. I Know that it sounds very complicated but from my own opinion and experiences that's the meaning I thought of when I heard the song.
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  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    I realize that the original intention for the song is reference to a drug-troubled teen, I've felt it also to refer to so many ways people can lose their "lives" in this era. It can be socially, mentally, rather than just a physical death.
    Long-lasting, personal, reliant relationships can fall and lead to even greater individual "deaths". Then the ones who need help, feel lost and dying-if not on the outside, at least extremely on the inside.
    The ones who try to lend a hand are left feeling helpless and thus utter the lyrics of this song, wondering in hope of what they could have done, blaming themselves although it may not be their fault, that they would have gone the distance to help if they could only learn the proper way.
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  • U
    - 1
    Unregistered
    My little brother got in with the wrong group of people. Very wrong. He cried wolf so many times that everyone including myself turned our backs on him. He called, and called, and begged and begged and I didn't take two seconds to think that maybe he was really ready to get help. He committed suicide. I would have stayed up with him all night, had I known how to save a life! Rip michael. I love and miss you.
    Add your reply
  • k
    - 1
    kutiepie727
    Um, I can now relate to the song 'How to save a Life' by the Fray. No one died. I listened to it, the one with the children in it, and I first, I didn't know how kids related. That is, until I placed my scenario in it. My mom is a smoker, and she won't listen to me. She 'tries' to quit, but she can't. I'm worried about her dying if she won't quit. I started crying when I thought about that.
    This is my. Er, comment. Well, it's suppposed to be a meaning, but. Yeah.
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  • t
    - 1
    theonlycopy
    Ok quite honestly I think this song could fit almost any situation. You people are arguing whether it was about a friend doing drugs or dying in a car accident. The car accident story is believable if you saw the other music video for this song in which there is a car. But the version with all the kids made me cry and I love it sooo much. Bottom line the song is about losing someone.
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  • l
    - 2
    LaBrees
    This song is about a crack addicted teen that the possibly g* leadsinger Isaac Slade took under his wing at a camp. Alotta people tried to reach him but no one could thus creating the line "had i known how to save a life"
    I found this song likeable when I first heard it, but once I began researching Isaac Slade, and speaking to Daniel Battenhouse I realized that the fray is corporate rock trash who have turned into cold professionals ever since the amazing composing skills of Daniel Battenhouse left them. Isaac, the frontman for the band has the worlds ugliest face, it looks like it belongs on a pig, and Joe King has issues with his father that he throws in everyone's face. Dan and Dave, was it are the only members of the fray that are worth a damn.
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  • b
    - 2
    Bleedlove14
    I really like this song I think its because one of my friends isn't my friend anymore today the song played before school started and I had a bad feeling so I'm blaming myself " Where did I go wrong I lost a friend somewhere along the bitterness and I would have stayed up with you all night I had to know how to save a life" we were good friends but somewhere along with all the bitterness I might have lost her.
    Add your reply
  • MEVANS14843
    - 2
    MEVANS14843
    Thena, I was wondering the same thing myself so I googled it and found a good answer for you.
    "The Fray do not consider themselves a Christian band. The members of the group, though, are all Christian, and their musical background is in Church Worship Groups. Their lyrics do not openly elude to God, but, the message is there to those that actually listen and think about the lyrics and not just complacently bob their head to the music."
    Add your reply
  • s
    - 5
    Sanosuke
    Two friends for life start to break apart as one heads away with and evil group of people then one tries to make the other return to his old ways. But he wont. So they start to fight then become enemies. Always they fight until one is going to loose his life due to the evil. Then the one that changed takes all the pain as he saves his old friend. Then the evil one dies as his friend weeps over his dead friend.
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    Top meanings Post my meaning

    • r
      + 10
      rosesfade
      I know this song is about suicide, however it is so very personal to me. I confronted a friend, a... Read more →
    • kk_pac
      + 9
      kk_pac
      I think anyone who's ever watched a friend destroy himself thru addiction would totally identify... Read more →

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