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RZA Creates New Ice Cream Truck Jingle

Photo credits: Chris Pizzello/AP

Say Goodbye to “Turkey in the Straw”

Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA has teamed up with sweets vendor Good Humor to create a new jingle for our neighborhood ice cream trucks. The jingle is being offered as a free alternative to the well-known and problematic tune “Turkey in the Straw.”

The original ice cream song has long been associated with minstrel shows and racist imagery. In a promo video introducing the new song, the RZA says, “Remember that ice cream jingle? Of course — we all know it. I’m not gonna play it right now, though, because we come to find out that it has racist roots.”. He also stated, “But check this out — Good Humor, they called me up and they was like, ‘We gotta do something about this, Riz. We can change the dynamics. We can make a new ice cream jingle for a new era.”.

The meaning behind “Turkey In The Straw”

Good Humor explains the meaning behind the iconic ice cream truck song on its website. “‘Turkey in the Straw’s’ melody originated from British and Irish folk songs, which had no racial connotations. But the song itself was first performed (and gained popularity) in American minstrel shows in the 1800s. Some songs using its same melody contained highly offensive, racist lyrics.”.

Throughout the announcement of the new song, RZA and Good Humor are asking drivers to stop playing the racist song and grab the new song FOR FREE. The RZA’s jingle will be available to ice cream trucks in the U.S. via music boxes produced by Nichols Electronics starting this month.

“We wanted to make a melody that includes all communities — that’s good for every driver, every kid,” RZA continues. “And I’m proud to say, for the first time in a long time, a new ice cream truck jingle will be made available to trucks all across the country in perpetuity. That means forever, you know what I mean? Like Wu-Tang is forever. And I will assure you that this one is made with love.”

Check out the new song and let DirtySouthHipHop know what you think.

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