Want You Gone
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|Want You Gone|
April 19, 2011
"Want You Gone" is a song featured in Portal 2 that plays during the game's end credits, as the successor of "Still Alive". As with the former, it is sung from the perspective of GLaDOS after her ordeal with Chell. It was written by Jonathan Coulton and performed by Ellen McLain. It is one of two pop / rock songs featured in the game, the other being "Exile Vilify" by The National.
The song is shown as displayed on an Aperture monitor, as the credits are shown on the right, while the lyrics to the song are on the left. The first part consists of form "FORM-29827281-12-2" ("Still Alive" from Portal is "FORM-29827281-12"), the second part is the details of a severance package. GLaDOS' voice is seemingly clearer and much less robotic, unlike in "Still Alive". The lyrics allude to the plot of Portal 2.
When the song ends, the monitor starts swirl away from the viewer to reveal the vacuum of space in which Wheatley and the Space Core are drifting. While the latter expresses his enthusiasm about being in space, Wheatley reflects and what he has done to Chell and expresses his regrets.
 History and recording
Since "Still Alive" was considered a large part of Portal`s success, Valve desired to incorporate more music into Portal 2, including further involvement from Jonathan Coulton.
The musician had discussed with Erik Wolpaw about whether an ending song would be necessary, and how they could create "an emotional moment" comparable to "Still Alive", back in 2009 when Portal 2's ending was not yet determined. Other options were considered, such as several "joke songs" and false endings for the game. Ultimately the game's finale was set by the last quarter of 2010, and Coulton played the game as it had been developed to that point to generate ideas. Elements of the ending, such as Chell being told to leave Aperture with the door slamming behind her, led to the development of main chorus line "I used to want you dead, but now I only want you gone." Coulton wrote the lyrics and composed the song over the course of several days, with John Flansburgh assisting on electronic drums, and traveled to Valve's headquarters in January 2011 to record it with McLain.
- An early take of the song was leaked 2 months before the official release of Portal 2. Minor differences in the song include Ellen McLain pronouncing Caroline's name differently and some differences in the lyrics. An earlier demo sung by Coulton himself also exists.
- A version sung by Jonathan Coulton is available on his 2011 album Artificial Heart, along with his rendition of "Still Alive".
The following lyrics are displayed as in the Portal credits, with the same text and similar background colors and font (The actual font being Consolas). The additional, unsung quotes are brighter; the lyrics not appearing on screen are darker.
In the penultimate verse, the line "I'll stop feeling so bad" has been replaced by "[REDACTED]". In the last verse, the screen switches to "gone" alone before displaying the "U" of "you".
- "Want You Gone" at JoCopedia, the Jonathan Coulton wiki
- "Want You Gone" (Live) at Jonathan Coulton's SoundCloud
- Sheet music by artist Sebastian Wolff