134 replies on “Keeping Time”

  1. The saddest thing about this is that I actually listen to “Never Gonna Give You Up” on my own. Also I dance around in my underpants and sing along offkey.

    I’m pretty sure I’m such a loser that even the Internet sits and laughs at me. But that’s okay.

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  2. Such a fantastic representation!

    Per chance, did the arranger complete the song? It would make my life… alot simpler to have a proper arrangement =P

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  3. That is the god damn most hillarious thing EVER.

    Kudos to you mr Munroe.
    Even though Banana is far less hard then god damn Cherries.(and more delicious)

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  4. mystery_editor: Sorry, I only completed the first few bars. You wouldn’t want to play that arrangement on the piano anyway; that’s just a transcription of the synth lines in the song. I’m not sure how I’d feel about myself if I completed an entire piano score of that.

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  5. You are an evil yet magnificent man. Ex band geek that finds himself walking in step with people (it gets even worse with fellow band people) or to the rhythm of music (never stumbled…just sort stop and get confused). My other bad habit is tapping fingers to the fingering of band songs I hear when I’m focused on something. No, my hand is not having a spasm…it’s just Back in Black.

    Also that was the classiest rick roll I’ve ever seen. I bow to your awesomeness.

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  6. Within six months, this will be on the wall of every band room in every high school in America. Maybe the world, though I’m not sure if the French would get it.

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  7. Wow I’d never heard of rickrolling before, when I saw the song I thought it was just a reference to how band kids can never give up the old marching habits. But well played, sir.

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  8. Heh, I didn’t play in band in school (although I did play bass in a rock band for years after) but I did my time in the army. I got out years ago but if I’m walking with a buddy of mine he will still give me an occasional “left” on my right foot to see if I still change-step. Bastage. 🙂

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  9. I’m not entirely sure I can stand how incredibly ingenious that is. It almost completely blows my mind (okay, scratch that “almost”. My mind is in smithereens).

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  10. Holy Crap!

    I design about 20 MB shows a year for bands that have taken first place in sixteen states. This strip will surpass the 007 strip in Band Geek popularity, and that one is huge, because we DO actually expect people to perform complicated math while strapped to giant spinny things.

    (So this is authoritative geek children – shut up about the Cadets. They ARE a rickroll . . . missing hash marks indeed.)

    Anyway, somebody somewhere is going to march Rickroll this fall. I’ll make sure of it and we’ll send in a video.

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  11. Heh. It’s not just band geeks who do the left foot thing. Me and a buddy were ushers at a friend’s wedding. After everyone was seated and before the bridesmaids started down, we were supposed to walk down to the front, turn, and then to stand off to either side. Both of us being ex-military, we led off with the left foot, took 30 inch steps, and made our turns at precisely the same moments, staying perfectly in step the whole way. The look on everyone else’s faces was priceless.

    (reCAPTCHA words: “right cide” No, silly machine. Left cide first…)

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  12. Except band geeks learn to take 22.5″ steps (8 steps per 5 yards). It’s been 14 years, and I still remember 22.5 inches.

    You military types are doing it wrong! 🙂

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  13. I have never been caught off my guard like this before. My respect for you has just skyrocketed.

    Again you show your genius, Mr. Munroe. I owe you a beer.

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  14. Ok, first i just wanted to notice how many band nerds that sccompany me in this comic, i am actually not surprised, since band is strictly horny nerds, and anyone that denys that, was never in band…..

    It is true, the whole music deal, but we all have different experiences

    Mine kinda went like this….

    <Hmm, new comic today
    <HAHAHAHA, its true….
    <more laughing and sharing with nearby band friends
    <10 min later and still laughing
    <alright down the business, what is he saying
    <Wow, i really do walk like that, haha, even with a song in my head
    <(scroll over comic) LEFT FOOT, wow, some kids dont even get that
    special time to thank you for accuracy
    <Then, of course, i see the music
    <Hmm, wonder what this is
    <printed out the music, and got together with three other saxes, and played music
    <After getting to about measure 2, i realized

    fuck

    i just got pwned

    <they never got it, oh well, best if they didn’t know
    <then i was scarred about that song, and the reality of the comics
    <Then i realized another step

    DRUM MAJORS

    <One habit that we Drum Majors have, is conducting to our stereos while we drive our cars

    (i dont care who you are, i know you do it, and that’s all that matters)

    So good job XKCD, you pulled a fast one on all the marching students in the world, and pwned them so hardcore…….

    damn that’s bitter sweet

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  15. HAHA wow. I’m in band… this is so true. I’d probably be the jerk up there testing it out too, though. Heh.
    We see it at Graduation every year as well, when our band starts speeding up or slowing down, all the seniors that used to be in band start running into the other kids.

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  16. You, sir, may have just set a new record for the Rick Roll.

    I wanted to know what the tune was, but didn’t have a piano. So since I’ve recently been teaching myself Lilypond (http://lilypond.org/web/) I thought it would be a good exercise to notate it. Half an hour and several recompiles later, I have a nice PDF file with an accurate copy. Then I generated the MIDI.

    Yeah.

    So, that’s why I’m posting as Anonymous.

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  17. OK, so I listened to it, and I was all like, “OK, it’s Robo’s theme from Chrono Trigger. That’s cool…” And then people were talking about being Rick Rolled, and I looked it up, and apparently the 2 songs have been compared several times. Cool, though. How many people can claim to Rick Roll tons of people through a webcomic? One, that’s how many…

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  18. i’m in Panama City, Panama for work, watching a local music channel (+23), and it totally rickrolled me.

    RICKROLLING HAS MOVED OFF OF THE INTERNET, AND IS SPREADING AT A DANGEROUS PACE.

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  19. I knew what the song was but I didn’t know about rickrolling. Guess I don’t spend as much time on the Internet as I thought!

    I shared this comic with all my band geek friends. Everyone at the University of Hawaii at Manoa marching band now loves you! Please come and give a talk one day. We’ll even prepare some damnable pineapples for you!

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  20. Anybody got a midi of the entire thing, as opposed to just what’s in the comic? Or the score, as one is easily enough converted into the other.

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  21. Having to play the score to figure out the song is like having to run code to work out what it does.

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  22. Heh — like “Eric TF Bat”, I listened to the mp3 and thought of Madonna, but I thought it was “Borderline”. Given the musical blender that is Pop, maybe it needs a few more notes for disambiguation….

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  23. Niiiice.

    Because I’m pernickety, and used to work as a typesetter, I feel I must point out that all tails on quavers and semi-quavers etc (8th and 16th notes) always go to the right, regardless of the stem direction.

    But yeah. I totally got rickroll’d. First time ever too. Dang.

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  24. You sir, are a bad man.

    And since I didn’t figure out what it was by looking, I am a musician who is bad at sight singing.

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  25. [do not follow this link.]

    DAMN YOU WILLIAAAAAAM!
    (I wonder if it does that every time?)

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  26. So I played the .mp3 and went, “Oh, that song. How cute!” Then I read this blog thread.

    I was unaware of RickRolling. It would not have occurred to me. Tricking people into listening to… Rick Astley? What started that meme off? And why Astley? Why not something really embarrassing, like, say, ManillowRolling? (And I say this as a loving fan, understand.)

    For the record (ha! pun), I listen to far too much ’80s music (FlashBackRadio.com is your friend!). It’s possible that I’d too desensitized to Astley’s repertoire to feel the pain.

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  27. You’ve done it again. That’s amazingly creative and just as awesomely accurate.

    THAT’S why I love XKCD.

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  28. dude u have no idea that is so true..i do it in school… ok im in colorguard (first year i marched flute…) and instead of running i jazz run… (i have had to redo the mile before because i “run” the wrong way)
    U MUST BE THE DUDE THAT DID THAT TO ME MACY’S………i have not stumbled but fallen down escalators…..stairs… i have even tripped over a little kid because some dummy-head paused the music while i was”walking” with a pile of clothes and talking on my cell….
    BUT… it did make me laugh….i texted all my bandies andtold themto go tothe comic and tell others….
    MAJOR PROPS….. CO CADETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  29. Hahaha, best Rick Roll ever!
    Anyways, for those wondering, here’s how Rick Rolling became popular*
    When the song came out, everyone thought the singer was black, but then the video came out and they see a scrawny, red-headed dweeb. A Rick Roll is when you give someone a link that is supposedly something they want, and they click it, but all they get is some scrawny, red-headed dweeb.
    In both cases, someone was expecting one thing but instead just got a scrawny, red-headed dweeb =D
    *Quite possibly complete bogus; just what I figure is reasonable.

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  30. Randall… The music in this cartoon looks very professional, but I had to sat (and I notice that no one mentioned it in the forum) that the notes you drew in “Important Life Lessons” 3/24 are backwards. That orientation is not optional, they are actually all backwards, including the upside-down one. I’m surprised that no other anal reader has pointed this out to my knowledge. (Maybe it was because the rest of the drawing was so graphic.)

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  31. I must bow to you!

    HOW

    IN

    THE

    WORLD

    did you convince YouTube to RickRoll EVERYONE?! I thought this was bad enough, but you somehow managed to get YouTube to do it? You are amazing!

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  32. I’m pretty sure he had nothing to do with the youtube RickRolling today. That just happened on its own. Good job with this one, though! I was one band nerd who didn’t try to figure out the music on my own, but I got RickRolled earlier today and have since been listening to the song on my own all day. So when I clicked to hear the mp3 all I could do was laugh!

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