Recall That Ice Cream Truck Song? racist

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by steve knight, May 12, 2014.

  1. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

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    http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch...am-truck-song-we-have-unpleasant-news-for-you
    EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is about a virulently racist song. Read no further if you wish to avoid racist imagery and slurs.

    "****** Love A Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!" merits the distinction of the most racist song title in America. Released in March 1916 by Columbia Records, it was written by actor Harry C. Browne and played on the familiar depiction of black people as mindless beasts of burden greedily devouring slices of watermelon.

    I came across this gem while researching racial stereotypes. I was a bit conflicted on whether the song warranted a listen. Admittedly, though, beneath my righteous indignation, I was rather curious about how century-old, overt racism sounded and slightly amused by the farcical title. When I started the song, the music that tumbled from the speakers was that of the ever-recognizable jingle of the ice cream truck. (For the record, not all ice cream trucks play this same song, but a great many of them do.)
     
  2. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    #2
  3. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

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    I am pretty sure there are other songs that use the same music. I think "Do your ears hang low" is one of them. Though the song in OP has probably been around longer.
     
  4. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    That's a common melody for children's songs. As long as the speaker on the ice cream truck doesn't sing those lyrics I think we're good...
     
  5. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

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    I usually tell my kids that that's the song they play when they are all out of ice cream anyway.
     
  6. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

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    Well it says that the melody itself dates back to the early 1800's and is probably older than that since the Scots-Irish immigrants introduced it to America. Nothing to see here, except disturbing lyrics over a common melody
     
  7. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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  8. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    Skinny people don't eat ice cream?
     
  9. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

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    #9
    Apparently not from a truck at least.
     
  10. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #10
    Now they tell me.....
     
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    I never understood the whole black people/watermelon racial stereotype. I've lived virtually all of my life in the south, and while I don't care one way or another for watermelon, most people here - of ANY race - do. It's hard to think of watermelon as a stereotypically "black" thing when you've seen so many white people lose their damn minds over it on a hot summer day.
     
  12. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #12
    I don't think watermelons are a black thing in Georgia.

     
  13. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

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    #13
    Im skinny and I do tend to go into a cafe rather than a truck.... maybe hes onto something!
     
  14. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Oh man, there is nothing better than a cold watermelon on a hot summer day! This white boy just loves him some watermelon.:D
     
  15. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #15
    This one too...
     
  16. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    Surely if you lived in the South for any length of time you're aware of how the use of the stereotype as a propaganda tool was used in earlier times to portray the supposed supposed simplicity of slaves? E.g., "African Americans, the argument went, were happy as slaves. They didn’t need the complicated responsibilities of freedom; they just needed some shade and a cool, delicious treat."

    David Pilgrim, the curator of the Jim Crow Museum, addressed how watermelons have been racialized in a "question of the month" column, Blacks and Watermelons. A brief excerpt follows:

     
  17. Vanilla Ice macrumors 6502

    Vanilla Ice

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    Awesome song! Now I want a watermelon
     
  18. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    No, not until well into my adult years. And in any event, it doesn't explain how the love of watermelon as a summertime treat is pretty much universal here; no particular group of people seems to be more or less drawn to it than any other.
     
  19. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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  20. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #20
    Do you find this offensive minstrel song any worse than some of the music that is popular today?
     
  21. noodlemanc macrumors regular

    noodlemanc

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    #21
    Ah, so that's where the watermelon thing came from...
     
  22. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #22
    This seems to be the correct song with the other being a parody by Harry C Browne.
     

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