Nothing signals the beginning of summer quite like hearing the infamous ice cream truck jingle out the window. The popular jingle actually has a name, “Turkey In The Straw,” but ice cream brand Good Humor is looking to shake things up after finding out the tune has racist connotations. To quell the song’s problematic past, Good Humor tapped Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA to make a new but equally catchy ice cream truck jingle.
Written in the early 19th century, “Turkey In The Straw” originally didn’t have any racial undertones until the tune was adopted by blackface-wearing minstrel show performers and set to racist lyrics. Fast-forward many years and “Turkey In The Straw” became the most recognizable ice cream jingle, but RZA aims to “make a new ice cream jingle for a new era,” he said in a Good Humor promotional video. “We want to make a melody that includes all communities that’s good for every driver, every kid.”
Good Humor echoed RZA’s inclusive attitude in a statement. “While these associations of ‘Turkey In The Straw’ are not the only part of its legacy, it is undeniable that this melody conjures memories of its racist iterations,” the ice cream brand wrote, adding: “As a leader in the industry, and the creator of the original ice cream truck, we want to be part of the solution on this issue, particularly since we work closely with so many ice cream truck drivers across the country.”
Listen to RZA’s Good Humor ice cream truck jingle above.