What song is playing on the carousel in The Last of Us?

A still from The Last of Us Episode 7HBO

During the seventh episode of The Last of Us Season 1, Ellie and her friend Riley spend some time inside a mall on a carousel, which plays a haunting song.

Season 1 of The Last of Us has done an exceptional job of adapting the story of the first Last of Us game. In Episode 7, though, the show pivoted to cover content that was not in the first game.

The episode, titled ‘Left Behind’, adapts the story of The Last of Us expansion, appropriately also titled ‘Left Behind’. The story goes back to before Ellie met Joel and Tess, to when she and her friend Riley were initially infected.

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With only slight variations, the episode faithfully recreates the events of the Left Behind expansion, down to the touching scene they share on the carousel. But the haunting song that’s played on the carousel has touched many fans, who are wondering where the song came from.

The song is a cover of The Cure song Just Like Heaven covered by Rockabye Baby!. The song, in it’s original form, was a hit for the pop-punk band and was considered to be The Cure’s strongest song by their frontman Robert Smith.

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According to Smith, the song was written about his then-girlfriend as the two took a trip to the shore in England. This song, then, serves as a great parallel to this couple taking a trip together where they too will realize their love for each other.

The Rockabye Baby! version is a lullaby-style cover of this song, which makes sense for a carousel. But the slow, haunting tune is the perfect tone-setter for this beautiful scene that is leading to something ominous.

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Is this song the same as the one used in The Last of Us: Left Behind?

In the game, players don’t really get to hear the song played by the carousel. Instead, The Last of Us’s signature background music plays as the two enjoy a ride on the merry-go-round.

While the twangy, western guitar certainly fit the mood as well during the Left Behind expansion, the decision to change to a cover of Just Like Heaven really elevates this scene in the show.