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The Last of Us has revived Linda Rondstadt's 'Long Long Time' with huge 4,900% spike in Spotify streams

Poppy Bilderbeck

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The Last of Us has revived Linda Rondstadt's 'Long Long Time' with huge 4,900% spike in Spotify streams

Featured Image Credit: HBO/Gijsbert Hanekroot / Alamy Stock Photo

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR THE LAST OF US EPISODE THREE.

Viewers are flooding to social media in support of The Last of Us for its use of 'Long Long Time' by Linda Ronstadt.

The third episode of HBO's The Last of Us has not only received widespread praise from fans for massively deviating from the game, but also for its choice of music in a particularly poignant scene.

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Similarly to how Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' soared to the top of the charts after being featured in Stranger Things as Max Mayfield's (Sadie Sink) anti-Vecna song, The Last of Us has sparked an influx in Spotify users taking to the streaming service to listen to a country tune written by Gary White and sung by Linda Ronstadt - featured in her album Silk Purse.

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Soon after the third episode of The Last of Us' release on Sunday, 29 January, according to Spotify News, 'Long Long Time' saw a 4,900 percent increase in streamings in the US compared to the previous week.

Fans of Ronstadt and the series have been left delighted by the news.

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One Twitter user wrote: "...and some people just couldn't understand our 50+ year love of Linda. She's not just our neighbour, she's a national treasure."

"Please keep the stats of this song coming," another commented.

A third said: "The song is devastating. 50 years later and the lyrics and the performances still bring tears to our eyes. Thank you, Gary White, lyricist and composer. Thank you, Linda Ronstadt for the beautiful, heartfelt performance. Thank you The Last of Us for reminding us. Heartbreaking."


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The song saw a 4,900 percent increase in US streams compared to the previous week. Credit: Twitter/@SpotifyNews
The song saw a 4,900 percent increase in US streams compared to the previous week. Credit: Twitter/@SpotifyNews

Ronstadt's song features in a scene between the characters Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), acting as an important motif for their relationship.

The piano session between the pair displays moments of raw and pure connection which they both desperately try to cling onto as Frank deteriorates both physically and mentally.

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The song later returns in scenes between Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey).

The song acts as a poignant motif for Frank and Bill's relationship. Credit: Warner Bros. Television Studios
The song acts as a poignant motif for Frank and Bill's relationship. Credit: Warner Bros. Television Studios

On HBO's 'The Last of Us Podcast', Troy Baker (who voiced Joel in the video game) sits down with show-runners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann to discuss the use of Ronstadt's song.

When asked why the song was chosen, Mazin explains: "We had this idea that Bill and Frank would connect over a song that would be the thing that essentially leads Frank to feel differently about Bill. To not just go, 'Oh I see what's going on with this guy'. But also to want him.

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"And I thought that it was an interesting rotation of expectations. You might think, 'Well Frank feels like the kind of guy who would be really good at the piano and have a beautiful voice'. And he's absolutely s**t at the piano - which by the way Murray Bartlett is great at the piano and has an excellent voice which is why he was so funny doing an impression of a terrible player with a terrible voice.

"And then Bill has this gorgeous ability to play and this incredibly heartfelt connection to these lyrics.

"So I'm looking for a song which describes a state of permanent, lonely heartache, that can never be soothed. And I'm also looking for a song that isn't overplayed, that didn't feel cliche, that didn't feel syrupy or gloppy and this is a tall order."

Fans have called episode three of The Last of Us the ‘saddest episode’ in TV history. Credit: Warner Bros. Television Studios
Fans have called episode three of The Last of Us the ‘saddest episode’ in TV history. Credit: Warner Bros. Television Studios

With the help of friend SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky, Ronstadt's song was re-discovered by Mazin and 'couldn't have been more perfect'.

Mazin continues: "Talking with Nick about the lyrics, how important it was to understand. the lyrics were someone saying, 'Everyone tells me tat it's okay, that love will find me, that the pain of heartache, loss and disconnection will heal. No it doesn't, no it's not and the person I long for from afar, I'm going to love them basically forever in the most unrequited manner'.

"To me, I thought what a beautiful notion that you can't ever get there. The closer you get the further that light gets away from you."

Topics: Music, Film and TV, Twitter, Spotify, Social Media

Poppy Bilderbeck
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