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GOOD HUMOR
joins forces with musical genius,
RZA

The story behind THE NEW JINGLE

Listen to RZA’s New Track
Listen to RZA’s ‘It’s Good

Listen to RZA’s New Track

The surprising history of the ice cream jingle

“Turkey in the Straw” is one of the most iconic ice cream truck jingles today. However, many people don’t realize that this familiar tune has racist roots.

 

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 19th century, minstrel songs like Turkey in the Straw were commonly played in ice cream parlors, and later, adapted as ice cream truck jingles.

 

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.

Good Humor x RZA: a new jingle for a new era

Since 1920, Good Humor ice cream has been a staple of childhood. Almost everyone has a fond memory of chasing after their neighborhood ice cream truck for their favorite frozen treat.

 

Good Humor has not owned ice cream trucks since the 1970s, nor did we create “Turkey in the Straw” or any other jingles. However, 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.

 

As we mark Good Humor’s 100th anniversary this year, we must acknowledge the history of the ice cream truck jingle, and take action to ensure ice cream trucks across the country continue to spread joy to everyone for the next 100 years.

 

So, we’ve teamed up with legendary rapper, music producer and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, RZA, to reimagine the ice cream truck jingle for a new era – a melody that brings joy to every community. We’re making this song available to ice cream truck drivers nationwide and providing education on how to replace “Turkey in the Straw” in their music boxes. Listen to RZA’s new track here, or hear it blasting from an ice cream truck near you!

Our commitment to racial equality and racial justice

Ending systemic racism and social injustice is a challenge that requires multiple interventions. Racial issues are human rights issues and everyone has a critical role to play in creating systemic change. We know that changing a song alone will not solve racism, but it is one immediate and simple step we can take.

 

We are proud to be part of Unilever and its family of brands who have pledged more than $8 million in 2020 to organizations and activists working for social justice and racial equality including Black Lives Matter, National Urban League, National Bail Fund Network and The Bail Project. As part of Unilever:

 

  • We continue to work to ensure the diversity of our workforce fully reflects the communities we serve
  • We uphold a zero-tolerance policy on intolerance - both among Unilever employees and the suppliers, customers and partners that work with us
  • We will continue to increase our work with and investment in diverse suppliers
  • We will add our voice and influence to advocate for safe and fair access to voting this November

 

For more information on these commitments, visit Unilever.com.