Blogs » Digital Babble » Rickrolling: The meme that is "Never Gonna Give You Up"


Have you been rickrolled lately? If you haven't the slightest clue of what I am talking about, (sounds dirty doesn't it, or like some strange Danish pastry) then pull up a chair and find out how a crazy Internet meme seems to have revived the career of a 80's pop star.

Rickrolling - a definition, from Wikipedia:

Rickroll is an Internet meme involving Rick Astley's music video for his song "Never Gonna Give You Up". In a rickroll, a person provides a link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand which actually takes the user to the Astley video. It can also mean playing the song loudly in public in order to be disruptive.

The practice began as a variant of an earlier prank called duckrolling, in which a link to a popular celebrity or news item would instead lead to a photoshopped picture of a duck with wheels. By May 2007, the practice had become widespread, and it eventually began to receive some coverage in the mainstream media.

I've been meaning to write about this for a while, and after today, thought it was appropriate. There were several April Fool's Day jokes that involved rickrolling, including one on YouTube, which led to several million views of "Never Gonna Give You Up."

So with that in mind, I read this article published in The Sun , "Astley's Cash is RickRoling In" and I'm still trying to figure out if this is part of the joke or not:

RICK ASTLEY is an internet star after the “Rickrolling” phenomenon took hold — and now his record label bosses are taking advantage of his cult status.

The video for his 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up has received more than 15million hits after that internet prank.

Web users were tricked into thinking they were visiting footage of celebs up to no good — but were in fact directed to an Astley promo.

Now Rick, left, is set to coin it thanks to the scam - dubbed “Rickrolling” — revived interest in him.

Record label Sony are re-pressing his greatest hits collection in a bid to get it on shop shelves again by the end of the month. Rick Astley: The Ultimate Collection is due out on April 28.

It’s currently out of print — a situation that’s nothing short of mystifying.

Link to article

Ok, I'll admit it. When this song came out I probably was dancing around in my room singing along, polishing my Swatch watch, trying to figure out which pair of white Keds would best match my acid washed jeans, all while dreaming of the day I would finally be in junior high. Ah, good times...if you want to see a pic of me in my glory days, check out this link to my 5th grade photo album.

Anyway, back on topic. Astley recently gave an interview about this whole Internet phenom for the LA Times blog, here's a snippet:

Over the last year or so, Astley has watched with puzzled amazement as “Never Gonna Give You Up” has been mocked, celebrated, remixed and reprised, its original music video viewed millions of times on YouTube, all by a generation that could barely swallow its Gerber carrots when the song first topped the pop charts.

“I think it’s just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it,” Astley said. “But that’s what brilliant about the Internet.”

Here's a link to the entire article, (I promise, no rickrolling this time...maybe):

Rick Astley, king of the 'Rickroll,' talks about his song's second coming

Ok, so if you've made it this far, and clicked on all the links, and have not yet had the urge to throw sharp objects at your screen, or wish me physical harm, you are a much stronger person than I! That deserves a reward:

Never Gonna Give You Up