If you live somewhere where a Good Humor truck still makes the rounds, prepare to hear a new jingle that’s replaced “Turkey in the Straw,” which has a VERY racist past.

This isn’t the Los Angeles Times calling out Good Humor; the company itself explains on its website the VERY racist past of “Turkey in the Straw.”

“‘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,” Good Humor explains on its website.

“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.”

We’d venture to say that it’s very plausibly deniable to suggest that the melody of “Turkey in the Straw” played over an ice cream truck speaker “conjures memories of its racist iterations,” especially among the children running out to grab a treat who weren’t around in the 1800s.

There’s good news, though: Good Humor has teamed up with rapper RZA of Wu-Tang Clan to create a new ice cream jingle. “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.'”

Here’s the new track:

For both Good Humor and RZA. It’s a good thing Good Humor realized the racist roots of “Turkey in the Straw” in time or hooded anarchists would have been toppling ice cream trucks from coast to coast and chucking Molotov cocktails in the windows.


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