Eduard Khil: How the singer's epic 'trololol' song became a YouTube meme
Eduard Anatolyevich Khil could well have faded into obscurity after the Russian singer's career began to wane in the 1990s, but his baritone voice has become a part of internet culture.
In 2009, a clip of him singing the song I am very glad, as I'm finally returning back home was uploaded to YouTube and subsequently went viral. It is better known as "Trololol" and has immortalised Khil.
He died in 2012 but Google has honoured what would have been his 83rd birthday with a commemorative Doodle video.
Who was Eduard Khil?
Khil, born in 1934, had a tough childhood in Smolensk on Russia's eastern border, defined by World War II. He was sent away from his family until returning when his hometown was liberated.
His musical talents were not diminished however and he ended up studying at the famous Leningrad Conservatory, as it was called at the time.
His professional career was a huge success with him winning multiple awards for music and service to the Soviet Union. Unusually, he also toured around the world.
So how did Trololol happen?
While Khil enjoyed success as an artist, his work was given a new lease of life after a recording of him singing in 1976 was uploaded onto YouTube.
The song, I am very glad, as I'm finally returning back home, was written about an American cowboy returning home, but the lyrics were likely to be banned by Soviet authorities, so Khil sang it anyway with nonsense lyrics - "Oh hohohoho oh ya yah ya ya yah" and so on - instead.
A 1976 performance, with Khil badly lip-synching against a mustard backdrop, was uploaded as "Mr Trololo", as this was what some of the singing sounded like, and became associated with "trolling" - winding someone up on the internet.
It also became known as the "Russian rickroll", an alternative to Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up, which internet users often bait each other into clicking in the belief that they are clicking on some other genuinely useful webpage.
To date the original Mr Trololo video has received over 26 million views on YouTube and sparked a host of parodies.
Khil lived long enough to discover his new-found internet fame when he heard his grandson humming the song. His YouTube success brought him a legion of new fans and he spent much of his final years opening emails from them.
"I'm very pleased, but I wasn't surprised because it is really a beautiful tune," he told Radio Free Europe. "I tried to make it cheerful. It's such a radiant song. Even though it was composed in 1966, it doesn't sound outdated."
He was urged to launch a new world tour and urged fans to come up with new lyrics for the music.
What are the lyrics?
Here they are in full:
Ah Ya ya yah, ya ya yah, yah ya ya
Oh hohohoho, oh ya yah, ya ya yah
Yah ya ya, ye-ye-ye-ye-ye, ye-ye-ye, ye-ye-ye
Oh hohohoho, ye-ye-ye-ye-ye, ye-ye-ye, ye-ye-ye
Oh hohohoho, aohohoho haha
Nah nuh-nuh, nuh-nah, nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-na
Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah, lah lah lah, la-la-lah
Lah la lah, lolololololo, la la-lah, la la lah
Hahaha, ho ho ho Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho Oh-ho-ho-ho
Luh luh lah lah-lah, dah-daduhdah, dah-dah-dah
Dah da dah, doh doh doh, ohohohohohoh
Lololol la la la, trolololo la
Oh ha ha ha ho! Ha ha he he ho!
Ah, la-la-lah, la la-lah la la
Oh-ho-ho-ho-hoh, la la-lah lalala lol, lolololo-lololo-lololo
The history of the Google Doodle