The Unforseen Legacy of Rick Astley

you're so welcome

you’re so welcome

It’s an ordinary Wednesday night. I am making nachos for dinner, when suddenly…


That deep, echoing voice and pinging drumbeat erupt into my brain.

Confound you, Rick Astley!

“Why are you hitting the refrigerator with your head, Mom?” my daughter asks.

Do I dare tell her the truth? To get the image of a preppy, dancing elf out of my memory? Instead, I lie.

“I’ve just got a silly song in my head. Does that ever happen to you?”

“Sometimes I get Katy Perry Roar stuck in my head.”

I would give anything for Katy Perry Roar, my little angel. All About That Base would suffice. Even Let it Go – ANYTHING but Rick Astley.

I’m not even sure how he got in there! I was never a Rick Astley fan, and as far as I can tell nobody was. His debut 1997 hit, Never Gonna Give You Up, was the kind of song you said, “Ew, turn it off!” when you first heard it. Inconceivably, it was #1 in 25 countries! HOW? Who were these countries? Were they  music intolerant?!

A conspiracy theory: Monsanto engineered Mr. Astley and his “sound” to hook into our amygdala and make indestructible pathways in our brains, the same way Cool Ranch Doritos do. (They’re tangy as a foot fungus, but every once in a while…)


I’m concerned for my children. Today in the grocery store, sandwiched between the Bangles If She Knew What She Wants and Life in a Northern Town (who the hell remembers who sang that?) was Astley’s It Would Take a Strong Strong Man. I had my SON with me! For the love of all things holy, he’s only five!

I wholeheartedly support a Rick Astley vaccination.

I pulled his hat down over his ears and said, “Let’s sing Particle Man!” while I frantically wheeled him over to the noisy frozen food section. Hopefully, his tender, developing brain wasn’t infected.

It’s too late for me.

We really will be together forever, Rick Astley, you son of a bitch…


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