"Scare Away the Dark" (CD Single)

Music review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
"Scare Away the Dark" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Passionate anthem calls for a more screen-free existence.

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

This song encourages listeners to limit the amount of time they spend on screens so they can understand the how full life can be when they step away.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Passenger (the stage name of artist English artist Michael David Rosenberg) inspires listeners to pursue their passions and live in the real world, not just watch life on social media.


The lyrics say that we are all  "scared of drowning, flying and shooters / But we're all slowing dying in front of computers."




The explicit version of "Scare Away the Dark" includes the word "f--king." The clean version of the song has no profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

"Scare Away the Dark" refers to alcohol consumption in a negative way with the line, "Drink ourselves stupid."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Scare Away the Dark" is a single from the album Whispers by Passenger (the stage name of English folk-rock performer Michael David Rosenberg). This anthemic song is a call to young people to live passionate "real" lives, rather than work themselves into the grave and spend every spare minute on screens and social media. The song lyrics portray people living a stagnant existence and urge listeners to change: "We should run though the forest, we should swim in the sea... We should stare at the stars and not just at screens." There are clean and explicit versions of this track; the explicit version has one "F" word. Both versions say we're "scared of drowning, flying, and shooters," but Passenger suggests that becoming more fully engaged will help people live with less fear. At the time of this review, there were several performance videos online of the clean version, but no official video for this song.

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What's the story?

SCARE AWAY THE DARK is a single from Passenger's fifth studio album Whispers that warns against the emptiness of a life occupied by work and screen time. It suggests that too many people follow the example of their parents by working too hard, drinking for relief, and becoming so preoccupied with social media they lose sight of how rich their lives can really be. The lyrics urge young people to look away from their computer screens to fully experience the world around them. There is an explicit-lyrics version of this song that includes the words "f--king computers" and a clean version that says "in front of computers." At the time of this review, there is no official video.

Is it any good?

"Scare Away the Dark" is an inspiring song that will resonate with anyone growing up in the digital age. Even if this single doesn't change lives, it can make kids and teens think about how much time they spend on screens and social media -- and consider what suffers as a result. Strong, passionate lyrics and an anthemic, acoustic guitar-based arrangement underscore the earnest emotion and authenticity of this charged and inspired composition. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time verses other activities. How much time do you spend doing what you love, like enjoying hobbies or spending time with friends and family? How much time do you spend on a screen?

  • Try replacing an hour of screen time with another activity, such as your favorite hobby, every day. Play an instrument, do a craft, read a book, go for a run. What did you gain? What did you lose?

  • Why do you think Passenger repeats the lines: "Sing at the top of your voice / Love without fear in your heart"?

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