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The Last of Us Ending Song Meaning: Full Video & Lyrics from Episode 1

The Last of Us (HBO)

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The first episode of HBO’s new series, The Last of Us, was perfection, from the beginning all the way to the ending song. But what exactly was the meaning behind the ending song? And who performed it? Read on for all the details, including a video and lyrics. 

The Last of Us Ending Song Was an 80s Piece by Depeche Mode

the last of us
credit: HBO

The song that played in Joel’s home at the very end was an 80s song by Depeche Mode called “Never Let Me Down Again.” The song was first released in 1987 on their album “Music for the Masses.” Depeche Mode was one of the most popular bands of the 1980s, making the song quickly recognizable by anyone familiar with 80s music. 

Ellie figured out during her brief stay at Joel’s house that playing an 80s song on the radio was code for something really bad happening. But was this really someone sending a message that something bad was afoot? Or was it simply a thematic way of letting the viewers know that Ellie, Joel, and Tess were headed into trouble? It’s really up to the viewer to decide what spin they want to put on it. But you can definitely hear some creepy sounds as they pan to downtown Boston while the song plays, so it’s likely signifying some pretty serious trouble lying ahead. 

In a Reddit discussion, viewers mentioned that the songs are unique to the show, so this wasn’t something pulled from the game. And some people thought they were hearing a 70s song, others thought they were hearing a 90s song, so it’s understandable if you weren’t quite sure what message you were supposed to be receiving when it played. 

Watch the Full Music Video for ‘Never Let Me Down Again’

To truly appreciate the ending, of course, you should watch the full music video for Never Let Me Down Again. You can see it in the embedded video below or at this link.

Here’s a look at some of the lyrics, as provided by Depeche Mode’s YouTube video. 

I’m taking a ride

With my best friend

I hope he never lets me down again

He knows where he’s taking me

Taking me where I want to be

I’m taking a ride

With my best friend


The song goes on to talk about how they’re flying high over the world and how he never wants to return back to Earth. 

Interestingly, this particular song was No. 2 in West Germany, No. 22 in the UK, and hit the top 10 in some other European countries. So although Depeche Mode will likely be quickly recognized, it’s possible that a lot of people hearing the song may not be familiar with it. You can also listen to it on Spotify here

For more content on The Last of Us, check out our full category of stories here. We’ll have a full review from a video game player posted on Monday, January 16, along with more updates in the weeks to come. 

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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