Juliamrusso

For avid Michael Scott fans with strong political convictions

“I thought I lost you somewhere but you were never really ever there at all”

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It’s Lonely Where You Are, Come Back Down

I can remember getting settled into 7th grade English class, dreading whatever mundane lesson plan I was about to endure, when my teacher handed me the lyrics to “How to Save a Life” by The Fray. I was pleasantly surprised because in 7th grade I was nothing short of obsessed with the band– you know how middle school obsessions go–nonetheless. My teacher asked us to read over the lyrics, apply it to a situation in our lives and speculate the “deeper” meaning. As a sophomore in college, thinking back to that day now, I am appalled my teacher thought this was something worth engaging my class in. Of course, I love the song and still listen to it today but what part of this song needed to be explored and interpreted? It literally spells itself out in every line.

“Step one, you say we need to talk…
…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.”

Condescension aside, it doesn’t take an English major to understand the song means he was unsuccessful at trying to talk someone off the ledge. But, the point of all this is that I think there is a lot to be said for songs that you don’t understand the first, second or even third time around.

My favorite song, “Name” by the Goo Goo Dolls is a really awesome example of this- unbiased, I swear.

“Now we’re grown up orphans that never knew their names,
We don’t belong to no one,
That’s a shame,
If you could hide inside me, maybe for awhile,
and I won’t tell no one your name”

Someone who understands what this means the first time reading it, is simply a liar. To this day, I’ve listened to it over a thousand times–probably more, but I still don’t know exactly what it means. When I’m upset about my relationship – or lack thereof – with my father, this song means one thing to me, and when I’m upset about my ex-boyfriend it means something entirely different. To me, that’s what makes this song so beautiful, I think that absolutely any one can relate to it because the words are cut wide-open for interpretation, unlike maybe, “How to Save a Life.”

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