"Pictures of Me" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
Start stop and start
Stupid acting smart
Flirting with the flicks
You say it's just for kicks

You'll be the victim of your own dirty tricks
You got yourself to tease and displease
Doors swinging wide
You walked in to hide

Looking at your feet
Failure's complete
Saw you and me on the coin-op tv
Frozen in fear every time we appear

I'm not surprised and really, why should I be?
See nothing wrong
See nothing wrong
So sick and tired of all these pictures of me

Completely wrong
Totally wrong
Go walking by
Here come another guy

Jailer who sells personal hells
Who'd like to see me down on my fucking knees
Everybody's dying just to get the disease
Hey hey hey hey

I'm not surprised and really, why should I be?
See nothing wrong
See nothing wrong
So sick and tired of all these pictures of me

Completely wrong
Totally wrong
I'm not surprised and really, why should I be?
See nothing wrong

See nothing wrong
So sick and tired of all these pictures of me
Oh everybody's dying just to get the disease
Everybody's dying just to get the disease

Everybody's dying just to get the disease


Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus

"Pictures of Me" as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Pictures of Me song meanings
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24 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentI think the "completely wrong/totally wrong" is not only saying that the media's portrayals of him are inaccurate (the obvious interpretation), but also that he just hates seeing pictures of himself... he's fucked up and doesn't like all the attention on him when he's still so unfinished and vulnerable... Not just that the pictures are wrong but that HE'S all wrong and hates seeing it reflected back at him.

    I think "everybody's dying just to get the disease" is saying it's weird for him to be so popular when his songs are all about horrible crippling depression... something people should never wish to know.

    "Who'd like to see me down on my fucking knees" -- I think this means he knows the media would just love more ways to show how depressed he is, it's almost like they want him to get worse...

    How fucked up is it that his whole fame was based on his being miserable, and that that kind of became "cool"? That's what I think this song is about... But he also gave a lot of people who were already depressed the comfort of knowing that they weren't alone. RIP Elliott.
    galaxiaadon July 17, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI guess I kind of interpret this song close to how Elliot did when he wrote it. It makes me think about how often times the traits i dislike most in others are often my own greatest faults.
    mattyb17on March 06, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti noticed that a lot of elliott smith songs are like words directed to a "you", which i think himself. it's like all of his songs are like angry letters to himself about different situations that have happened to him, and things he observed and thought about. that's what makes elliott's stuff so real, because they're simply just pieces of his life put on paper to explain an event or situation that has happened to him.
    rosetta.stonedon June 22, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDamn I thought the lyrics at the end were "Everyones dying just to get THROUGH disease"
    It had more meaning to me that way.

    I'm kinda bummed out that I heard the lyrics wrong.
    Damn it.
    Waiting4Goddoton May 05, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentsweet deity, please speak to me.
    today was the day that i realized that this song was about me.
    as stupid acting smart, it was easy to see everyone else screwing up.
    it gets to the point that you gotta turn off the inner monologue and take a look around-
    stop with the charade, and realize that the stupid front you put up in order to get through the day is adding pictures to the photo album of the world that are just totally wrong.
    those personal hells are every relationship i've been in, and every one of those guys loved to see me on my fucking knees. here i thought it was just for kicks, and now it is obvious that i am the victim of my own dirty tricks.
    i know that elliott had different images in mind when he wrote the lyrics, but holy hell i am certain that i feel what he was feeling- and thats what a song means
    PriscillaTheParanoidWaitresson June 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment”Pictures of Me”, maybe not one of my favourites, but obviously still very good. Once again I’d like to state that I don’t believe this song has to do anything with drugs or alcohol.

    Once again, like in “Say Yes”, I’ll refer to an interview Elliott Smith did where he answered what “Pictures of Me” was about.

    (Interviewer asks what “Pictures of Me” is about)
    Elliott Smith: “That song was supposed to be about someone seeing other people doing things they don’t like, and it disturbs them because if another person could do something wrong, then you gotta figure, you can too.”

    “I'm not surprised and really,
    Why should I be?
    See nothing wrong
    See nothing wrong”

    I myself interpreted in another way, of not wanting to bend for higher authorities in society, where I’d put the line.
    “Who’d like to see me down on, my fucking knees?”
    Where it as if he’s questioning why he should do it.

    But if I go by Elliott Smith’s explanation, I think it simplified would mean that we usually scold at people for doing something we think is wrong, but we usually forgot to look at ourselves, therefore “Pictures of Me.”
    buddha_the_godon December 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno comments on this one? i love this song, when you first hear it its one of those that gets stuck in your head and you can't think straight until you listen to it again
    Sayerof7on June 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm going to try to take a stab at it...
    "jailer who sells personal hells
    who'd like to see me down on my fucking knees"
    drug dealer who he begs for drugs and seems to enjoy the power over elliot
    "everybody's dying just to get the disease" I'd imagine this pinpoints describes a specific drug

    I'm not sure about the "pictures of me"... maybe those picture booths? He walked in drugged out of his mind and took pictures of himself, now the machine randomly displays them as it scrolls through its local database? He looks terrible in them as if "sick and tired"...
    slaw219on October 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"who'd like to see me down on my fucking knees"
    when he sings that line ... there are no words.
    jack_the_braton October 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMost of this song seems to hint at fame sucking. "so sick and tired of all these pictures of me", he sees all these pictures of him everywhere, and people always create pictures of people through words etc, and maybe some of them were, "completely wrong, totally wrong".

    "jailer who sells personal hells
    who'd like to see me down on my fucking knees"

    Those lines remind me of the media, who make money out of people's "personal hells", making them feel desperate.

    "everybody's dying just to get the disease" - So many people wants to be famous, and he is referring to fame as a "disease"
    YourPerfectVerseon October 31, 2004   Link

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