[Editor’s Note: there will be mild spoilers for “The Last of Us” season 1, episode 3 in this article.]
Everyone’s talking about the phenomenal performances in “The Last of Us“ season 1, episode 3. Nick Offerman as jaded curmudgeon Bill, and Murray Bartlett as his partner Frank, are having praises sung left and right. The episode was boosted by a golden oldie that’s sure to pluck the heartstrings of any viewer-“Long, Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt.
With its solemn and sweeping strings accompanied by a lonely guitar, the song pairs nicely alongside Gustavo Santaolalla‘s isolating score. Those of us that have played Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us” are familiar with Bill. For those willing to delve further, players come to realize Bill’s hardened shell is protecting a heart broken by loss.
Ronstadt’s lyrics make us well up with its somber message of the pain of loving regardless of the warnings we’ll get hurt. Who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another? And clearly the song itself has struck a chord (pun intended) with viewers. Spotify saw an astounding 4900% increase in streams of the song.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the barefoot crooner will see much profit despite its resurgence. Like many musicians, Ronstadt sold many of the rights to her music to Iconic Artists Group, owned by Irving Azoff. She also wasn’t credited as the song’s original writer, so that disqualifies her from a sync publishing fee from HBO Max.
But before you go running to the internet to grouse, it’s all legal. The best we can do now is share our appreciation and love for Ronstadt and her velvet vocals while we cry over our televisions.
“The Last of Us” airs on HBO on Sundays.