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Company Taps Hip-Hop Producer to Replace Racist Jingle

In order to combat racism, the Good Humor Ice Cream company has decided to decommission the popular tune “Turkey in the Straw” from all of its ice cream trucks, and replace it with a new customized hip-hop track.

Minstrel songs were often played in ice cream parlors, which is how they became jingles on ice cream trucks. “Turkey in the Straw” was derived from a nineteenth century Irish fiddle tune, but it was popularized in the US through vocal renditions containing lyrics that would greatly offend a listener with today’s sensibilities. Traveling minstrel shows sang it as “Zip Coon” as far back as 1834. In 1916, another recording of the tune by Harry C. Browne became popular. Its title? “[N-word] Love a Watermelon, Ha! Ha! Ha!”

To come up with a replacement, Good Humor tapped Robert Fitzgerald Diggs of the famed NY collective The Wu-Tang Clan. In a press release, Diggs, who goes by the stage name RZA, explained his involvement:

I remember the days when I would hear that iconic ice cream truck jingle outside, and I would drop what I was doing to chase it down for a treat. When I learned about that song's problematic history this summer, I knew I had to get involved.

You can listen to the new tune here.

Possible Preaching Angle:

As Christians we need to be discerning about the inadvertent ways we might cause offense, and be willing to change our ways in order to communicate our values of love, peace and justice


Isabella Jibilian, “Good Humor teamed up with Wu Tang Clan's RZA to write a new song for ice-cream trucks that isn't racist,” Business Insider (8-14-20)

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