alt-J - Portrait Lyrics

Tell me how you wanna be portrayed, now
You can have it all, you know that you can have it all
That I love you, yeah, I love you
Donatello, Frida Kahlo, Holbein
You can have it all, you know that you can have it all
That I love you, yeah I love you

Now paint me a picture
And draw yourself drawing a piece of paper with pencil
‘Cause you can’t afford to misrepresent me
I want an imitation of reality

Gather all your kings and other things
That you know my good
You might tell me what, ‘cause
Do you think that these are my good nature
You establish this good nature

Buy me aristocracy
Now listen to me, yeah,
Your whores come and go to sit with me
I wanna be seen in a hundred years
As you see me now, so don’t hesitate
Make my portrait made
So paint me now

You didn’t want to know, you didn’t want to see
You threw it in the fire, you threw it in the fire
And then you took my eyes, so I could never be
The painter of your boy
And then I go:
King, for king, oh, king, bring the guillotine

You didn’t want to know, you didn’t want to see
You threw it in the fire, you threw it in the fire
And then you took my eyes, so I could never be
The painter of your boy
And then I go:
King, for king, oh, king, bring the guillotine
Bring the guillotine

Other Lyrics by Artist

Rand Lyrics

alt-J Portrait Comments
  1. Remy Carreiro

    I am surprised people can't tell this is the early melody for Breezeblocks, same progression.

  2. Rafael Pereira

    It is different but not less great.

  3. Mike Harvey

    Why is it when I hear this song I just want to pee on my girlfrien?

    Slap them Silly

    Mike Harvey I think you’ve had one to many a boiled egg

    Cupcake Intake

    Why? Is she a bad artist, or do you just not like her painting you like one of her French girls?? 🤣🤣

  4. Mike Harvey

    When I hear the song I just want to put a plastic bucket in my head and just dance around in my

    Cupcake Intake

    Mike Harvey - ok now, simmer down Shia labouf (labuff?) .... 🤣💕

    Slap them Silly

    Attach some BREEZEBLOCKS to yourself and dive in and dance at the bottom of the ocean ya boiled egg!

  5. Sif


    Cupcake Intake

    Sif ..... annnnnd now this song is forever tainted.
    (Heh heh heh...taint).

  6. Koen Olijerhoek

    Ah I wish this EP was on spotify :(

    Anna Ivanova

    Same 😭

  7. nblooming

    To me this spng seems to be a two way conversation between an artist and a subject. The painter says that the subject can "have it all" but the subject is dissatified with how honest the artist's work is. As a result, the artist makes it clear that the subject "didn't want to see" the truth abput himself.

    Just my two cents.


    Check out the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This song is about Dorian Gray.

  8. Lucas Domanico

    In chess, I suppose that to sacrifice the king is to accept the defeat, but if the adversary does not accept it, he can also sacrifice his king; then bring the guillotine

  9. Prajwal Devatha

    2.4 million!
    I could bet you that it's just a handful bunch of us replaying this over and over.
    Songs like this need more recognition!

    Nathan Rodríguez

    de hecho yo fácil eh reproducido este video cerca de 50 veces en esta semana xD

  10. Ame LPZ

    Rifa la voy a bailar en teatro salu3

  11. Matheus Ledur

    Muito bom

  12. Potato Person

    Did not even know this song existed and now I wish I could find it on iTunes

  13. GM Faux

    Dammit Escher, you had one job now you get the guillotine

    Cupcake Intake

    GM Faux - well if Escher hides on the stairs, he’s probably safe for a good long while. 🤣💕

  14. brodric j

    Proof that lyrics never sell songs, it's all about the meoldy and the music.

  15. Naza

    I cant find this song on spotify :c

  16. Ralph Andasta

    i wish it would be on spotify

  17. Mike Wiggins

    Okay who was one of the 154 people who disliked this?!?!?!?!?

    Cupcake Intake

    Mike Wiggins - my guess, is that the dislikes are from the ugly sommabitches that didn’t like their portraits.... lol

  18. EggAbyss


  19. Carter Vukovic

    I’m confused I looked up the title and it’s a newsreporter😂😂😂

  20. its ok to not always be ok

    note that its "the painter of your boy" instead of "a painter for your boy"

    and the "i love you" lyrics? it honestly makes me think of an abusive relationship with a narcissist.

    Slap them Silly

    its ok to not always be ok ere listen to me mr its ok. I’ll decide what the lyrics are about. And their about a man painting a boiled egg and his relationship with that egg.

  21. Odb Guy

    Are they releasing there old stuff ?????????

  22. Niki Avtz

    Dorian gray totally

  23. Madman

    No i didn't want to know

  24. happy chestnut

    Oh wait this is kinda good ...

  25. Mateusz Czuban

    I can't find this song in spotify. Anybody can help me?

  26. Ben McAllister

    Much better at 0.75 speed

  27. Trevor Zombie

    I can picture this on one of my stories called “Devil, Devil” And can also see it in a movie or show about Julius Caesar

  28. Stunt Miner

    First half is alright, not any amazing. Second part manages to get me every time.

  29. Julia P.

    This is so fucking good I just can't

  30. Priscila Puente

    Any of you knows other artist related to Alt-J?

    Calico Starcatcher

    Try Glass Animals and Snowmine :)

  31. Jeivy Alana

    Love it

  32. Dust 69

    One of the best Songs <3

  33. natalie bini

    probably not alot will understand but im getting a bit of "the strokes" vibes from this song

    alot actually.

  34. Laura Bianchi

    i'm a painter...i do portraits....this made me scream

  35. Ajay Singh Grewal

    ok i'm gonna ask this question Who the fuck is daljit dhaliwal the bbc reporter?What does he/she have to do with this indie band?

  36. Yuichin ♥

    its really sad song :c

  37. antisocialpill

    i think i broke the replay button

    Slap them Silly

    antisocialpill na it’s sound it’s still working

  38. Sección 305 Biología

    why doesnt is in spotify?

  39. María José Oñate

    Boy, years that I don't listen to this song... what a magnificent piece of art.

  40. OJK

    speak clearly :), you sound Asian

  41. Skeggs of Horkabjork

    As an artist myself, I can relate to this song so much. That nervousness when you show them your work, that pain.

    I've drawn so many people who didn't like the way I portrayed them; maybe I'm too honest, maybe I'm a shit artist. I wouldn't ever know.

    Dishah Yeend

    your mum smells like cabbage

  42. Daniel Gruszka

    Tell me how you wanna be potato



  43. Sele Faaria Ü

    necesito encontrar la letra de esta cancion en español:"v adgahd

  44. anakondaz 575858

    its amazing

  45. Veronika Anastjazia Sedláčková


  46. Harry Everett

    not on iTunes? :L

  47. M Riddell

    I dont spend a heap of time on youtube, but I think 5,026 likes and only 58 dislikes are the best ratios ive seen

    Stunt Miner

    Max Riddell 2000:2 is the best I've seen

    Cupcake Intake

    The dislikes are probably from the ugly sommabitches that didn’t like their portrait...
    Just a guess.

  48. Helena Key

    Is this about Dorian Gray? It sounds like it is.

    Audronė Kibirkštytė

    i think so

  49. Gui Queiroz

    Que música sensacional!!!

  50. Dirtiestofharrys

    I can't find this song on iTunes!!!:(((how can I get!?


    Siga em frente
    olhe para o lado

  52. Manolis Grifoman

    I just wished it was longer... And there should be more songs like this...

    Teri Crookston

    Manolis Grifoman sick j cock


    quick fix: watch it on 0.75 speed

    F Rincci

    yeah! but it's so good that I listen to it three times in a row 🕺🙆😆

  53. RedRona

    anyone knows the meaning of this song?

    Jeweleeanna Eagle

    +RedRona ooooh haha, sorry!

    Linus Nakuumba

    I feel like its about honesty, People will always tell you to honest with them about how you see them and as soon as you tell them the truth they hate you for it. Just my interpretation of the song.

    Curtis Beavers

    +Linus Nakuumba totally agree. I also love the way they address the theme of an inability to express creatively being a worse fate than death, for artists, and thus their willingness to commit (in true art) to a portrayal with an integrity undesirable at cost to commercial success, critical acclaim, or public renown. (somewhat ironic considering the band's direction as of late)

    Camillo Bianchi

    Dorian Gray

  54. Lauren Ward

    I want to know these words off by heart.

  55. Romann Booth

    Where did you find all these rare Alt-J videos?

  56. J B

    Porque no encuentro esta canción en googleplay ?

    L Y R I X

    +Jerónimo Beltrán It's very old and was only on an EP that they only sold as physical copies I think

  57. srijoni

    I love your lyric videos so much! They're awesome. Would you please make a video for Pusher by ALT-j?

    L Y R I X

    +thundertaker pogo Their newer music usually gets blocked unfortunately :( Sorry!


    +L Y R I X No problem at all!

  58. Brook

    I used to always get this tune stuck in my head but I could never name it. Now that I've found it, I listen to it 24/7! It really sucks that i can't find it on Spotify because if I could, it would be on every playlist of mine.

  59. Maria Pacheco

    I loveeee them

  60. Nia Simmins

    Okay this is one of my new favourites.

  61. nick

    Why does this song remind me of Hawaii?

  62. PureLies

    Why does this have to be so damn good?

    L Y R I X

    +PureLies Alt-J quality I guess :D


    +L Y R I X yeah it probably is

  63. Corie Fan

    is this song about the Picture of Dorian Gray? :/


    it's a good thought, it came to my mind too while listening to it :)

    Guilherme Brusantino

    it's a good thought, it came to my mind too while listening to it :)

    Sergio Ocampo

    it's a good thought, it came to my mind too while listening to it :)


    it's a good thought, it came to my mind too while listening to it :)

    Cupcake Intake

    These comments... give me hope for the future.

  64. Igum Djorge

    many times I've replayed this

  65. Julie Parsons

    I don't know how many times I've replayed this I love it so much <3

  66. Micah Buenaventura

    This is so catchy!

  67. Sam k

    Luv (l)

  68. Joe Adams

    the realization of just how sad you are when you can name the font used for the lyrics.. -Return To Sender 

    Joe Adams

    @MexiDan haha, cheers man.. studying graphics has ruined my life!


    @Joe Adams

    Pranav Bhasin

    I don't even study graphics I still know it's called sketchy. I should probably go hang off a tapestry or something, right about now....thud*

    L Y R I X

    @Pranav Bhasin It's called Return To Sender though, so that won't be necessary ;)

    Pranav Bhasin

    @L Y R I X
    Ah! That was just to make sure you're still alive ;)
    It wasn't though, haha but thanks for correcting. 👍

  69. colt white

    Just great :)

  70. Eulenspieler

    This is way better than their new album

    Ad Fa

    @L Y R I X Yeah me too :D !
     I think that in my country we're only a hundred to know about this fucking great band, and that's sad ...

    L Y R I X

    @Troller Bard Do you mind me asking were you're from? Also, I don't know anyone personal who has ever heard of them as well. 

    Ad Fa

    @L Y R I X Oh I'm from Morocco :D In my school we're only six or seven to truly knowing them, and I am the one who showed them this great band !

    L Y R I X

    @Troller Bard Oh great! 

    Mark Hagan

    @Troller Bard @L Y R I X  I disagree with you on this, but y'all seem like good folks regardless. Peace.

  71. rem brandt

    Are there more tracks by the Films/Daljit Dhaliwal (besides Buffalo, Leon, Dancing in the moonlight)?
    I'd be so happy to hear them

    L Y R I X

    @rem brandt There's this one song called 'Hiroshima', but I only found this recording (Daljit Dhaliwal - Hiroshima) and its quality is not the best unfortunately. I read that a studio version actually exists, but I haven't been able to find it yet. So if anybody out there reads this and knows where I can find it, I'd be more than happy to know!

    L Y R I X

    @rem brandt Oh and there's also a song called '353' (Alt-J - 353 (BBC Introducing Maida Vale session)) but they were already called alt-j back then :)

    rem brandt

    Wow they definitely made some references to 353 in their new song bloodflood pt. 2. and too bad that there's apparently no studio version of hiroshima :(

    kate fenlon

    @rem brandt they are called alt j now, they have like 2 albums

  72. Mia Johnson

    Oh goodness this song

  73. Carmine

    Immediately when I heard "Donatello", the Ninja Turtle one came to mind instead

    Wawawawa Wawaw

    Well the ninja turtle's names are taken from 4 great intalian renaissance painter. And there he speakes about the painter not the turtle :D

  74. Manuel Tavares

    Great song!

  75. vivrestu vie

    great great great!!!

  76. TheDingfish

    where did you get this version? it sounds alot better than the official one on the ep

    oh and thank you :)


    I think it was a giveaway they did for a short time so it's rare

  77. Jorge Gil Vaquero

    amazing song, what's the album it belongs?

  78. j0hnasd

    Can you tell me the name of the font used on the video?

    L Y R I X

    It's called 'Return To Sender' :)


    Thank you!

  79. Stefan Maric

    Dude, where did you get this track? I found the Films EP but its Portrait version is quite different (and this one far better). :(

    Odb Guy

    Stefan Maric where did you find the films EP?? I need it ....

    Bianca Lennon

    Where can I download this song?!

  80. Samuel Powell

    Is this a new song?! I've never heard it before. Love alt J. I have the awesome wave album. I hate to shamelessly promote but I am just trying to get some attention for my music, try searching
    The Stumble and Shake - Panic Attack (Earthquake Version)
    you may be in for a surprise!

    L Y R I X

    It's not a new song... It's actually pretty old I think :)

    Samuel Powell

    Thanks good to know.

    L Y R I X

    Your music sounds great (by the way)! :D

    Samuel Powell

    Thanks man, glad you liked it. Free download link in the description of every video.

  81. thedavigna

    Love it :)