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The Surprisingly Dark History Of The Ice Cream Truck Music Will Have You Shocked

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  • Tip Bones

Here is something to ruin your day.

Do you love the sweet Ice Cream Truck jungle? “Turkey in the Straw” as they call it, is the emblematic music all ice cream trucks play as they roam around neighbourhoods enticing children and even adults to come and buy the frozen delicacy. Turkey in the Straw’s melody has originated from iconic British and Irish folk songs. The songs themselves were quite innocent, but when the song was first performed (and gained popularity) in American minstrel shows in the 1800s, racial connotations began to arise. Some songs using its same melody contained highly offensive, racist lyrics.

Thankfully, however, there is now a non-controversial, free alternative to the Turkey in the Straw tune. Good Humor ice cream, which has been serving happiness since the 1920s has partnered with Hip Hop sensation RZA to compose a new track for ice cream trucks. The song commemorates Good Humor’s 100 years into the business, and it takes initiative at enabling social education across America. Good Humor wants ice cream trucks to be a source of joy and glee, instead of figures of contempt. And for that reasons, they are endeavouring at removing racial practices from their industry.

Ending systemic racism and social injustice is a challenge that requires multiple interventions. Racial issues are human rights issues and everyone has a critical role to play in creating systemic change. Changing a song alone will not solve racism, but it is one immediate and simple step that has been long-awaited.