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Want You Gone

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Want You Gone

April 19, 2011


Indie pop




Ellen McLain


Jonathan Coulton

Featured on

"Want You Gone"[1] 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.


Screenshot of the Portal 2 end credits, featuring the first verse.

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[edit]

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.[2]

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.[3]


  • 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.[4] An earlier demo sung by Coulton himself also exists.[5]


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".

Forms FORM-29827281-12-2:
Notice of Dismissal

Well here we are again
It's always such a pleasure
Remember when you tried
to kill me twice?
Oh how we laughed and laughed
Except I wasn't laughing
Under the circumstances
I've been shockingly nice

You want your freedom?
Take it
That's what I'm counting on

I used to want you dead
Now I only want you gone

She was a lot like you
(Maybe not quite as heavy)
Now little Caroline is in here too
One day they woke me up
So I could live forever
It's such a shame the same
will never happen to you

Severance Package Details:

You've got your
short sad
life left
That's what I'm counting on
I'll let you get right to it
Now I only want you gone

Goodbye my only friend
Oh, did you think I meant you?
That would be funny
if it weren't so sad
Well you have been replaced
I don't need anyone now
When I delete you maybe
[REDACTED] (I'll stop feeling so bad)

Go make some new disaster
That's what I'm counting on
You're someone else's problem
Now I only want you gone
Now I only want you gone
Now I only want yo_


External links[edit]