The Last of Us Episode 3: Linda Ronstadt & ‘Long Long Time’ explained

Bill and Frank and the sheet music for Linda Ronstadt in Long Long TimeHBO

The Last of Us Episode 3 features the music of Linda Ronstadt and her track ‘Long Long Time’ – if you’re unfamiliar with her work, we’re going to give you a quick rundown.

In our review, we said Episode 3 “belongs in the same untouchable echelon as Ozymandias and Pine Barrens; it’s one of the greatest episodes ever committed to television, and pop culture history will honor it as such.”

While picking up with Joel and Ellie following Tess’ death in Episode 2, the episode primarily follows the story of Bill and Frank, a survivalist and survivor whose worlds collided for the better a few years into the pandemic.

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Aside from its tear-jerking use of the Arrival music, Linda Ronstadt’s music – specifically, ‘Long Long Time’ – is the through-line of the chapter.

The Last of Us: Who is Linda Ronstadt?

Linda Ronstadt is an American singer and actress from Arizona, known for taking on various genres, but perhaps best known for her rock and country music. Across her career, she won 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award.

Ronstadt’s music is referenced throughout The Last of Us Episode 3. The episode itself is titled ‘Long Long Time’, the song that Bill serenades Frank with shortly after they meet. Joel and Ellie also listen to it as they drive away from Lincoln in Bill’s truck.

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The lyrics of the song align with Bill and Frank’s love story. “Love will abide, take things in stride. Sounds like good advice but there’s no one at my side,” the artist sings.

“And time washes clean love’s wounds unseen. That’s what someone told me but I don’t know what it means, ’cause I’ve done everything I know to try and make you mine, and I think I’m gonna love you for a long long time.”

If her name isn’t familiar to you, her music should be. ‘Blue Bayou’ has been sampled in lots of movies, like American Made and Man on Fire, while ‘Long Long Long’ time was also used in iZombie, Hot Summer Nights, and Veronica Mars.

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The Last of Us Episode 4 will be available to watch on February 5 in the US and February 6 in the UK. You can check out the rest of our coverage here.