The Fray’s “How To save A Life” is based upon a real-life endure of one of its composers, Isaac Slade. And no, regardless of how some world may interpret this tune, over there does not appear to be any kind of direct allusions to suicide within the lyrics.

That is come say the the singer is not really referring to ‘saving a life’ in a literal, physics sense. Rather come him what this term equals is the individual available – who is certainly woefully depressed and also alienated – coming clean, agree his mistakes and also moving on constructively through his life.

Or as the vocalist puts it, ideally this human being “will recognize to everything”. And the alternate isn’t that he bring away his own life. Rather it is more akin to the singer’s friend remaining in his established self-destructive mode, through the singer self regretting his decision to interference in the first place.

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An act of intervention

And yes, this track is based on an act – or perhaps an ext so we can ideology – that intervention. Once again going ago to Isaac Slade, he made decision to volunteer because that an organization that faces troubled teens. While there, he was paired v one who was not only a drug addict but likewise practiced physical self-harm. And because of such mental behaviors, dude had been ostracized by his family, friends and even ideal friend, the latter of which really depressed him.

Slade had decided to interference in the life that this individual for a weekend. That did his best verbally – and one can even say faithfully – come positively influence his life. And it is that communication which these lyrics are essentially based on. And also considering exactly how serious the instance is, yes, it could be placed forth the the title alludes to conserving a life literally. But all things considered, it does not necessarily connote a human being committing self-destruction – rather much more along the currently of said individual wasting himself gradually.

A girlfriend

Meanwhile based on the actual wording of the song, the singer put it right into the context the he is rather handling “a friend”, i.e. Someone he’s been connected with for a long time, as opposed to the setup mentioned above. 

But as soon as going ago to the ide of intervention, the is the singer that decides the this exact same individual requirements a good talking to. And from the onset over there is a sense of pessimism ~ above the narrator’s behalf that such will certainly not it is in successful. For the 2 of them room not ~ above the very same page, apparently as result of the friend no being truthful.

But this is not since he is a negative person. To the contrary, the is “fear and blame” i beg your pardon is avoiding him from confronting his past and indeed present.

The Addressee’s Mentor

Then the singer’s next objective is to present himself as a credible mentor pertaining come the issue at hand. Verily, he is rather confident that he go “know best”. And he extends said understanding to anyone who is objectively the end to accomplish a comparable goal, i.e. Bravely instructing an additional individual come his or she betterment.

And the primary an obstacle at hand is gaining his mentee’s trust while in ~ the exact same time not giving this person the impression that everything is every good.

So he proceeds to delineate the troubles he awareness in the person’s life come him. Indeed the instance reads like he has constantly remained in his ear around said issues. Then the singer additionally incorporates a tiny bit that prayer ~ above his friend’s behalf. It has actually been provided that The Fray room in fact a band consisting of dedicated Christians. 

But even past that, the narrator’s decision to do so – and also to encourage his friend to carry out the very same – would also be representative that his in its entirety feeling of hopelessness, i.e. The perceived require for magnificent intervention in this situation.


Then the is in the 3rd verse that the story concludes together aforementioned, through the narrator leaving his buddy to make his own selection concerning the future. Meanwhile the chorus is indicative of just how the singer feels around his own function in the grand scheme of the matter. And basically, he believes the he himself has failed.


The reason the narrator is under together an impression is slightly touch upon in the song. And the stated reason has actually something to perform with him reportedly at one suggest becoming for this reason ‘bitter’ v his friend that he excommunicated him as opposed to practicing this same form of treatment when the time was riper to carry out so. 

And at the end of the day, what the title is in reality symbolic the is the vocalist having learned a an useful lesson along the way, i m sorry is “how to save a life”. In other words, the narrator concludes the if he had taken his friend’s condition more seriously and also sympathetically native the run – and acted accordingly – climate that human would not have degenerated right into the unsavory state which he is right now in.

Release day of “How to save a Life”

This is the title monitor from The Fray’s maiden album. And The Fray is a rock tape hailing indigenous Denver, the capitol of the state of Colorado.

This track was officially released, via epic Records, top top 13 September 2005. And it likewise acted together the 2nd single from the album it share its name with.

“How To save A Life” Meets through Success

This is considered to be The Fray’s signature or at the very least most-successful song, as it performed impressively in a number of ways. For instance, the peaked at number 3 top top the Billboard hot 100 and also remained on stated list for 58 main straight.

It also appeared top top six various other Billboard charts (including the Christian Songs listing), in the procedure topping 3 of them:

Adult different SongsAdult Contemporary The Adult height 40

In enhancement to the above, that earned fourth place top top the UK Singles Chart. And it charted in around 20 nations overall, afford multi-platinum condition in the US and also Italy. Moreover the holds the distinction, together of 2015, the being one of the peak 5 absent songs in terms of digital sales (coming out around the time digital songs just began taking off), having moved virtually 5,000,000 copies electronically.

And follow me those same lines it should be detailed that “How to conserve a Life” (the album) walk take house a 2006 Billboard Music Award, being named Digital Album the the Year.

In 2007 this song likewise earned The Fray a Grammy nomination, particularly in the classification of Best Rock performance by a Duo or group with Vocal. However, it shed to a Red warm Chili Peppers’ song entitled “Dani California“.

Television Appearances

Greatly contributing to the success of “How to save a Life” is the fact that it has been featured quite prominently on “Grey’s Anatomy”, a popular television show which itself concentrates largely top top a group of lifesavers. In fact one illustration of the show, which aired in 2015, was also named after this song. But even before that, it can be argued that the track buttressed the series just as much as angry versa.

Other popular TV programs whichhave made use of this tuneincludeScrubs(another show around medics) andBig brothers UK.

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At the moment of the relax of this track, The Fray’s lineup contained vocalist:

Isaac Slade Dave Welsh Joe King Ben Wysocki Dan Battenhouse (who had actually left the crew in 2004) 

Music Video

There space actually four main music videos to “How to save a Life”. Two of them attribute clips from “Grey’s Anatomy”. However, neither of them space what is taken into consideration the major one the end of the bunch. Rather that would be the 3rd music video clip created, which the well-tenured Mark Pellington directed.