The Friend (Hokage)” is a part of the larger theme of family in our album: Ohana. The song explores the dynamic of being that true friend that both sticks by friends at their worst moments but also pulls friends out of dark times. The song begins by talking about friends who “die young, but they still walk around” and then the first verse moves to talking about how we ourselves run the risk of social death (i.e. loneliness) when we try to face life alone. The pain of feeling misunderstood or like an outcast makes us all want to “pave [our] own way out” and “fight the villain all alone by [ourselves].” This song is a reminder that we cannot do it alone. We need “The Friend” who will stand by us, and we need to be okay admitting that.
But, once we gain “The Friend”, things do not stop. The hook and the second verse remind us that once we have been “friended”, it is our turn to be the dependable friend. The hook pleads, “When the sky falls I’ll be standing over you. When the night falls I’ll be ready.” In other words, when the times of darkness hit I will be by your side. The second verse explores the perseverance of a good friend. Kay Sade sings, “I wanna get to know you again – forget we was friends. Undo the ties – we did it wrong. Let’s do it with sense.” These words hold great value to us because we each have friends from whom we have drifted, whether due to tension or simply to relocation and distance. “The Friend” reminds us that it’s never too late to rekindle what may look dead. It’s never too late to reach into the dark in an attempt to bring a friend into the light.