According to CNN, the hip-hop icon of Wu-Tang fame has joined forces with the Good Humor ice cream brand to re-imagine the signature “Turkey in the Straw” jingle played by ice cream trucks all over the nation. Because, as it turns out, the tune has a shady past.
“Turkey in the Straw” originally came from a traditional British tune brought to the American colonies by Scottish-Irish immigrants, as per scholar Theodore R. Johnson in his 2014 NPR article.
The Racist History of The Ice Cream Truck Song
Most people agree that chasing the ice cream truck after hearing the now famous jingle is a summer tradition. But there is growing interest in its racist origins in the early 1900s Minstrel Shows. The song initially started as “Turkey In The Straw” but the vaudeville actor Harry C. Browne changed the lyrics to “N * * * * * Love A Watermelon, Ha! Oh, Ha! Oh, Ha! “back in 1916.