Hank Williams/ Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in "The Last of Us"
Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns/HBO

Hank Williams' Haunting 'Alone and Forsaken' Soundtracks HBO's 'The Last of Us'

Fans of HBO's The Last of Us have been getting a veritable music education since it began airing. After showcasing Linda Ronstadt's "Long Long Time" during epioode 3, the popular TV adaptation of the PlayStation game just threw it back to one of the greatest country music singers of all time: Hank Williams.

The fourth episode of The Last of Us found Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) traveling by pickup truck to Kansas City. Ellie presented Joel with a Hank Williams cassette, and the pair listened to Williams' classic "Alone and Forsaken" together.

"This is actually before my time, it's a winner though," Joel said of the tape.

The song continued as the pair went on their way, a decidedly forlorn anthem for the times. While obviously not written about a global pandemic about a fungus that effectively turns the human race into zombies, it's very much a gloomy song in its own right.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO

The tune finds a forlorn Williams lamenting over a lost love. He begs to be heard in his time of need while experiencing unbearable loneliness. "Alone and forsaken by fate and by man/Oh, Lord if you hear me please hold my hand/Oh, please understand."

The song debuted in 1955, over two years after Williams' death, as the B-side of the MGM single "A Teardrop on a Rose." Though the song was used most recently as part of an episode in The Last of Us, it was also used in early promotional trailers for the show.

Given Joel's previous hometown of Texas, it makes sense for the series to feature folky, traditional country, especially since in the show it's been 20 years since life as we knew it happened for the weary father. There have been some seriously fantastic tracks featured in The Last of Us so far, and there will likely be more in this vein to come, especially as things become even more bleak.

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