“Long, Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt is an old-school American singer, i.e. one was born in 1946 and achieved her most notable commercial success during the 1970s and 1980s. Ronstadt can also be considered an all-around music legend in that, despite the abovementioned fact, 8 of the 12 Grammy Awards she has garnered were won from the 1990s onward. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Linda Ronstadt's Long, Long Time at Lyrics.org.

Indeed at the 2016 edition of the Grammys, she was granted the Lifetime Achievement Award. Linda also took one home as recently as 2021, in the category of Best Music Film for the documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.

“Long, Long Time”

“Long, Long Time” is a single from Ronstadt’s second album, “Silk Purse”. The song doesn’t rank amongst her biggest hits per se. However, it is considered a notable track from its era. For example, it has been covered by a number of artists, including Harry Belafonte, since. 

It is also recognized as being Linda’s breakthrough song. Upon initial release during March of 1970, it did appear on five different charts via three organizations (Billboard, Cash Box and Record World) stateside. 

But in terms of its overall success, the song most impressively broke the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.

The reason we’re compelled to write about this track now, over 50 years after Capitol Records released it, is because it was recently featured on an HBO series called The Last of Us. This show is based on an uber-popular videogame of the same name. The episode the track was featured on was actually named after the song. 

But more to the point concerning the discussion at hand, said feature caused this largely-forgotten tune to go viral.

That said, Linda did not directly benefit from this unforeseen success. In recent times, it has become increasingly common for legendary musicians to sell off their music catalogs. And Linda herself did so in 2021.

However, Ronstadt has stated that the actual writer of “Long, Long Time”, Gary White, “will get a windfall”. This implies that White will be a beneficiary of the song’s success.


The song commences by pointing to that type of post-relationship advice we tend to get that sounds really deep but is, in the moment, ineffectual if your heart is actually broken. This includes instructions along the lines of ‘taking things in stride’ and ‘time heals love’s wounds’. But again, such wisdom is more or less folly in the eyes of the narrator. This is because the person she loves, the addressee, has by the looks of things unceremoniously left her.

This song in its entirety does a good job of insinuating what exactly went on, underneath the main storyline of the vocalist being heartbroken. And most concisely put, it appears that the addressee is a playa, but the vocalist allowed herself to fall in love with him nonetheless. So now, after apparently cheating on her when they were together, it appears as if he has proceeded to leave Linda cold.

Yet and still, the thesis sentiment we are met with here, as foretold by the title, is one whereas the singer is putting forth her belief that she will continue to love the addressee “for a long, long time”. Or put otherwise, the vocalist is frankly admitting that even though this person basically did her wrong romantically, she is smitten nonetheless and will remain so into the foreseeable future.

“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”

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