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Lyric Evaluation

Page history last edited by John 12 years, 9 months ago

Thoughts on how to approach the page:

1) Read the lyrics the way they were originally laid out in the song

2) Read top to bottom, column by column.

 

The second way enables you to read it like it's a narrative, a more proper way to envision this assignment.

 

 

    How to Save a Life      by The Fray

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Narrative

The first time I heard this song it just stuck with me. I never really paid much attention to

the lyrics besides the obvious 'How to Save a Life' line. Of course, it made itself permanent in

my memory with my grandmother's passing shortly thereafter, in which I unconciously chose

different sentences of the song and pasted them together to put my own mental twist on it.

Of course, now that you actually look at the words and try to make sense, it obviously has a

different connotation. I first believed that maybe the song was first about a couple breaking

up (ending their relationship), however with help of their video, it's easy to see how the song

describes the general environment whenever there's a clash between two people arguing over

something that's potentially life-altering. That's a mouth-ful, but basically what I mean is that this

song can be applied to a father trying to talk to his daughter, or a girlfriend discussing a bad habit

with her boyfriend, or a married couple trying to discuss their issues without one walking out.

 

Atmosphere

The song has an obvious mellow tone, yet upbeat at times. You can see how the song not only

can refer to an unsuccessful attempt at a conversation mentioned above, but also can signify a

successful version with its upbeat melody on the chorus. It's just really hard to describe a song's

atmosphere when it can be used in television shows for both happy moments, moments of epiphany,

and sad moments.

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