Linda Ronstadt’s “Long Long Time” Is Receiving Renewed Attention Thanks to This HBO Show

Chris Barilla - Author
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Jan. 31 2023, Published 3:34 p.m. ET

Linda Ronstadt
Source: Getty Images

In terms of individual accomplishments as a singer, few can hold a candle to Linda Ronstadt. Although she is retired, Linda's music entertained legions of fans worldwide for the better part of half a century. In that time, the star secured 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an, and an ALMA Award.

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Linda's success has been well-documented for decades, but an entirely new generation is now becoming familiar with her music. Thanks to a choice placement on the HBO Max series The Last of Us, younger listeners are discovering one of Linda's biggest hits: "Long Long Time." With that being said, what exactly is the meaning of "Long Long Time"?

Linda Ronstadt
Source: Getty Images
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What is the meaning of "Long Long Time"?

Linda's 1970 track "Long Long Time" has had, well a long, long time to simmer with plenty of listeners, but new ones are still discovering its meaning today. The emotional track sees Linda addressing topics — from being confused about love and questioning life to pining after someone that you can call your own.

To open up the song, Linda sings of things that she has heard from others: "Love will abide / Take things in stride." However, she immediately questions those notions by singing, "Sounds like good advice / But there's no one at my side."

She recites other mantras such as "And time washes clean / Love's wounds unseen," which she follows with another line of questioning: "That's what someone told me / But I don't know what it means."

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Linda goes on to come to terms with the circumstances of her love, singing, "'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."

The emotional reckoning goes on through lines such as "Caught in my fears / Blinking back the tears / I can't say you hurt me / When you never let me near."

Linda Ronstadt
Source: Getty Images
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In the song's pre-chorus, it seems as though Linda recognizes that the way she envisioned love may not be the way things are. "And life's full of flaws / Who knows the cause? / Living in the memory / Of a love that never was," she sings.

Despite this recognition, Linda still longs for what was, or at least what was in her mind, when she sings the outro to the captivating track.

She belts out, "'Cause I've done everything I know / To try and change your mind / And I think I'm going to miss you / For a long, long time / '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."

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Linda Ronstadt's "Long Long Time" was featured on Netflix's 'The Last of Us.'

A lot of the newfound attention to this deep cut from Linda's discography can be attributed to the fact that the song was featured in The Last of Us, HBO Max's new thriller series based on the video game of the same name. According to Spotify, the song saw a 4900% surge in streaming after the episode it was featured in aired.

Per Wikipedia, when it originally released, "Long Long Time" was on Billboard’s Top 100 for 12 weeks and earned Linda a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance. Much like "Running Up That Hill" with Kate Bush and Stranger Things, it appears as though Linda's track is benefiting from careful music curation in another hit streaming series.

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