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In an interview with USA Today, lead singer Isaac Slade explained that he wrote this song about an experience he had working at a camp for troubled youths: "One of the kids I was paired up with was a musician. Here I was, a protected suburbanite, and he was just 17 and had all these problems. And no one could write a manual on how to save him. I got a lot of email about it. One kid died in a car accident, and I guess it had been the last song he downloaded from his computer. They played it at his funeral, and some of his friends got 'Save a life' tattooed on their arms. The response has been overwhelming." (thanks, jaque - alvin, TX)
In the February 2007 Observer Music Monthly, Slade said: "I still get an incredible number of emails about that song. We've got friends who think it's great not having to think because they're drunk or high. But there's a better way to be happy." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
This song took off after it appeared on the second season of the hit ABC TV show Grey's Anatomy. The song was used in the episode "Superstition" after the show's music supervisor saw The Fray perform in Los Angeles. The song became a minor hit after being used in the episode, then gained more popularity when it was used in the promotional campaign for the third season of Grey's Anatomy.
On September 21, 2006, a Grey's Anatomy
version of the music video (similar to the one made for Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars
") was shown prior to the third season premiere of the show. The song was also released as one of the tracks on the Grey's Anatomy, Vol. 2
soundtrack album, and would later be used in the trailer for the Australian release of the show.
This was also featured on the Scrubs episode "My Lunch," as well as the episode "My Night to Remember," where the character J.D. looks back on the awkward moments in his life and says how "That Fray song starts playing." When this song starts playing, J.D. quickly says, "No not that Fray song!" and "She Is" starts playing instead.
Other TV appearances for this song include One Tree Hill, The Hills, 8th & Ocean and Cold Case. HBO used the song for its "Summer Image" television campaign, and it was also used in the trailer for the film Reign Over Me. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 4)
Lead guitarist David Welsh told ilikemusic.com
the story of this song: "The song came about very organically. Isaac had this idea on the piano of this kind of lullaby. Then he concocted this repetitious drum beat that moved the lullaby along with Ben. The lyrics came from an experience Isaac had with a teenager he was mentoring who was struggling with drugs and addiction. It was just a very natural process, the song developed and the lyrics fitted very well."
An original member of Depeche Mode, Vince went on to form Erasure and Yaz.
Martyn Ware of Heaven 17
Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.
Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"
Mike Watt of the Minutemen tells the story of the song that became an Indie Rock touchstone. It's also the story of what Mike calls "The Movement."