Good Humor to Replace “Turkey in the Straw” Jingle Because it’s Racist
It’s a “New Jingle, For a New Era,” the company proclaimed.
Good Humor, the ice cream company as synonymous with summer as hot dogs and running fire hydrants, announced Friday that it would replace the famous jingle on trucks that attract children far and wide due to its history.
So the company partnered with RZA, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, to compose a new ice cream jingle that would “continue to spread joy to everyone for the next 100 years.”
RZA announced the replacement song Friday on social media, which got mixed reviews.
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“Remember that ice cream jingle?” he asked. Of course, we all know it. I’m not gonna play it right now because we come to find out that it has racist roots. But check this out—Good Humor, they called me up and they was like, ‘We gotta do something about this, Riz. We can change the dynamics. We can make a new ice cream jingle for a new era.'”
The reported problem with “Turkey in the Straw” was its connection to minstrel shows. The New York Post pointed to a statement from the ice cream company that said the melody “originated from British and Irish folk songs, which has no racial connotations.”
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But the song gained in popularity during these minstrel shows and the company admitted that it is “undeniable that this melody conjures memories of its racist iterations.”
Social media critics of the company’s move called the move the latest example of wokeness run amok. One commenter responded to Good Humors’ tweet announcing the new jingle, “We truly live in a parody of reality.” (That comment got more likes than Good Humor’s tweet announcing the new tune.) Another seemed to just simply dislike the new song.
“This would be more fitting for garbage trucks,” a Twitter user wrote. Another recommended to just play “Jingle Bells” if the other song needs to be canceled. Responders on RZA’s Twitter account praised the new version.
“Next up…let’s have RZA redo of “My Old Kentucky Home,” one posted.
The company said in a statement that it is calling on “all drivers to stop playing ‘Turkey in the Straw’ immediately.
“We wanted to make a melody that includes all communities — that’s good for every driver, every kid,” RZA said. “And I’m proud to say, for the first time in a long time, a new ice cream truck jingle will be made available to trucks all across the country in perpetuity. That means forever, you know what I mean? Like Wu-Tang is forever. And I will assure you that this one is made with love.”