So how did the curious meme of Rickrolling get its start?
For that, it’s necessary to start with its much lesser known predecessor- duckrolling.
Physics student Sairam Gudiseva decided to make an essay a little bit more interesting for his teacher, and tweeted the results…
To begin with, for anyone who’s somehow managed to avoid the more than a decade old phenomenon of Rickrolling, in a nutshell this involves tricking someone into clicking on a link that takes them to the video for the relentlessly upbeat and infinitely cheesy 1980s anthem, usually by suggesting it’s a link to something else which is a particularly compelling click.
Arguably the apex of the Rickolling phenomenon came on April 1st of 2008 when You Tube automatically redirected every person who clicked on a video on the site’s main page to the music video for the song, which we guess is a lot better than directing them to an alternate version of this joke going around at the time involving a couple of ladies and a cup…
As to Astley, he first learned about Rickrolling via friends of his Rickrolling him.
Not getting why his friends were emailing him links purported to be to other things, but taking him to his hit song’s music video, he would later reveal in an interview that his teenage daughter let him in on the prank that was sweeping the internet.
Which brings us to what the notoriously reclusive Astley thinks of his most popular song being, to put it bluntly, the punchline to a bad joke.
Gudiseva posted a copy of his essay to Twitter, with the Astley lyrics marked up with a yellow highlighter.
As the Independent noted, it's impressive to write an essay on physics, never mind the time it must have taken to get each lyric to line up perfectly.