This song “How To Save A Life By The Fray” This song is based of the fact that the singer was a mentor at a troubled youth camp as a counselor to a teen who was a crack addict and a suicidal teen. The teen was a recovering addict and coming out of a really tough lifestyle. In the song, when says “he lost a friend”, this made me feel like it could relate to the death or lost of the friendship he had, and w-hen he says “how to save a life,” I think he’s focusing on the life of the true friend he was. The best friend he once was, but he then changed.
At the beginning of the song, is about all the struggles that the friend is having which one thing that hindered his lifestyle was his severe drug addiction. The boy does not believe that his drug addiction to be a problem in his eyes. He doesn’t reach out for help and doesn’t understand people want to help him and get him get out of that negative headspace. He sits him down for a talk, a talk that he hopes he will cooperate “The friend, he stares politely right at you,” this means he’s doing what you say, and listening to what you have to say, as you would want him to but the lyrics in this song say “you stare right on through.” these lyrics make me visualize that you are looking at him during the conversation, knowing its more than just a chat with him. You hope for a better talk than the previous ones, and you hope he actually listens this time. This is all happening when the singer is at the youth camp being a counselor. In this song one of the powerful lyrics he wrote “You begin to wonder why you came.” I feel like if I was in this situation with this boy not wanting to be there at the counseling lessons you’d start to think he doesn’t want to help himself and nor ever wanting to. You’d start to think your efforts with this troubled teen were valueless.
You only try to help, and you blame yourself when he continues on his path of abusing drugs, and ignoring his addiction. You try but you can’t do it alone. You blame yourself because you feel that you must have done something wrong. You feel you could have fixed it earlier. “where did i go wrong?” Your best friend is lost, and when you couldn’t do enough, you struggle to find an answer of why things happened the way they did. you wrongly blame yourself.
“I would have stayed up, with you all night, had i known, How to save a life”
You try, and eventually let go. You give up on him because you don’t know what else to do. You would have stayed with him all night much longer, but you don’t know what else to do to save him. You don’t know how to save his life. (your friendship with him and his personality, from when he was the friend he used to be)
“let him know that you know best, because after all you do know best.” When someone is addicted, they are too blind by the addiction to notice. You know best (a friend not abusing the drug) because you noticed the effects. you know the risks, and the potential losses. he doesn’t. You do know best. It is a fact.
You try to convince him that his addiction is a problem. You try to explain what he’s losing. You want to get past all his lies and ignorance (his defense), “without granting innocence” …without telling the abuser, that he hasn’t done anything wrong. the fact is that he has done something wrong, and he currently is. “the list of what is wrong” is all of the things that he’s struggling with. It’s the things wrong with him. the ways he’s changed. They other things he could lose. The things on this list are the things you’ve been trying to tell him for so long.