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June 26, 2006



Ice cream truck music history? I know it's shameless self promotion, but an article I wrote about the history of ice cream truck music got published a couple years back a great arts magazine called Esopus. As cool as the Musiclink outline is (and believe me, it's technological coolness is not lost on me), mine is a bit more comprehensive.


Oops. Didn't see that the article was linked already! (I just got so excited about seeing someone talking about ICTM.) Sorry!


Where I grew up the ice cream trucks simply just wrang a bell. In the suburbs where I live now, Jack N' Jill has reigned for a few years with its ersatz piano rag ( Scott Joplin? ). The Blue Bunny, a competitor, has arrived this year. I'm still trying to figure out what its music is. I think its La Cu Ca Racha.


"Pink Panther Pops" is actually "Turkey in the Straw." Lyrics include the following:

Went out to milk
And I didn't know how
I milked the goat
Instead of the cow
A monkey sittin'
On a pile of straw
A winkin' at
His mother-in-law

It's good to know.

Ian Mackereth

I grew up in a tough neighborhood. The icecream vans played "Helter Skelter"

Wim L

Yeah, when I was growing up the ice cream trucks all played either "The Entertainer" (the Scott Joplin tune bob mentions) or "Turkey in the Straw" (why is it titled "Pink Panther Pops" here?)


I knew Melted Drumstick Melancholy sounded familiar - it is track 1 of the Conet Project and is known as the Swedish Rhapsody. See Conet Project at .


'Lips Stained Blue' is actually the Cuckoo Waltz.
'Melted Drumstick..' sounds like the 2nd half of Red Wing.
'Creamsicle..' sounds like And the Band Played On.
'What the Hell is..' sounds familiar but I cant think of the name. I think the lyrics are Navy-themed if I'm not mistaken.
'Push-Up Pop..' sounds like the same as 'Soft Serve Sleepytime', which is a famous lullaby everyone should recognize but I cant recall the name (is it Brahms'?)

Pierce Presley

What the hell is ... sounds like "Bicycle Built for Two". It should be said that most ice cream trucks play hella weird arrangements of public domain tunes (Joplin's Entertainer, Brahms' Lullaby, whatnot), and the superlicious sound systems make 'em sound even funkier.
The only thing better (or worse) that I've heard was the guy who cruised some of my old stomping grounds in a Yugo ... with a hood scoop ... and what sounded like football stadium tweeters (we never did hear a note of bass; always thought he must've had serious high-freq hearing loss ... or a tendency to think "treble rebel" was a term of endearment).

John H

"What the Hell is..." is indeed "Navy-themed"; it is "Sailing, Sailing (Over The Bounding Main)", known commonly as "Sailing, Sailing (Over The Ocean Blue)", composed by Godfrey Marks [pseudonym of James Frederick Swift], first published in 1880.

Rach S.

We have two competing trucks that visit our neighborhood in Iowa, and one plays Scott Joplin, while the other steals our souls with "Music Box Dancer." I was living in England during the deep winter one year and couldn't get over the truck that cruised our street every evening, despite the bone-chilling cold. I admit I couldn't resist the ice cream sandwich (handmade before your eyes between two large sugar wafers) drizzled with raspberry sauce. YUM.

Daryl Licked

the icecream truck song will never die as long as they can be downloaded as a F**CKN CELL PHONE RING.

does that express enough of my iritation with being force fed someone elses idea of good tunage?


We had the Mr. Softee tune in Kensington, Brooklyn, but we also had a truck that played an awesome, Russian-sounding tune, reminiscent of the Tetris theme that is sadly not represented here.


Thank you so much for the great Ice Cream Jingle links! My first exposure to IceCream Truck Jingles was in Karlsruhe, Germany. A truck which looked and sounded just like an american ice cream vehicle would visit our neighborhood daily, but instead of ice cream, it served children's beer to all of us looked and tasted just like beer..without the alcohol! When we moved back to Washington State, I missed that old truck with the cold beer.

Joseph Grabko

We have an ice-cream truck SOMEWHERE near our neigherbor hood that plays the exact same pink panther pops/turkey in the straw song. I've never seen it. The song haunts me.


Re: Cardhaus's comment, I've always known the Pink Panther one as "Do Your Ears Hang Low": . We had to sing this in music class in elementary school...

Mark spivey

Ahh the memories...
Great idea for adding to a mix for something completely different.


our ice cream man plays a song called happy wanderer, what you lot think of that tune ?


In Australia, or at least in Melbourne, our ice ream trucks (Mr. Whippy) plays Greensleaves. cant find it for download :(
was going to use it for a ringtone in the summer :)


Speaking of creepy/wierd: when I lived in the northern part of Brooklyn NY (Greenpoint / Williamsburg / Bushwick) the ice cream trucks played "Send in the Clowns".


did anyone hear of the law they tried to pass about 3yrs ago to get all ice cream trucks to stop playing music and only ring there bell. i think a child got hit due to not hearing a car due to the music playing please let me know if anyone has heard of this thanks Kim...


The swedish hemglass tune was composed by famous Swedish Classical choir conductor Robert Sund. Rumour has it that the pay was a life-time supply of icecream.


ice cream trucks are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!


my ice cream truck plays 'hitler has only got one ball' but i dont know the actual name of the tune.

Andrew Gaudet

In MASS they are trying to BAN Ice cream trucks from playing ANY music at all. This JUST aired on tonight's 10pm news of FOX 25. If they get the bill passed, we'll be taking down the ice cream man like me did the milk man. I miss the milk man! Freakin stupid if you ask me!!

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