For however many decades, ice cream trucks have largely transmitted the same, all-too-familiar jingle. As more people continue to illuminate and speak out about said jingle’s problematic and racist origins, however, it’s become clear that a replacement might be long overdue, as well as a welcome change.
“I can assure you that this one is made with love.”
Now, Good Humor and RZA have collaborated to do just that: the revered musician and founding Wu-Tang Clan member just debuted a new jingle to replace “Turkey in the Straw,” an early-19th century folk song that was once a staple of minstrel shows, and has since become synonymous with ice cream trucks. “We could change the dynamics. We could make a new ice cream jingle for a new era,” RZA said in a video talking about the project. He added, “We wanted to make a melody that includes all communities that’s good for every driver, every kid . . . I can assure you that this one is made with love.”
Since Good Humor does not currently operate any ice cream trucks nor has it since the 1970s the brand has made RZA’s song available for free in perpetuity for drivers with industry-standard music boxes. Give it a listen ahead, and then watch RZA elaborate on the making of the jingle.