In the TikTok, @_vanillabee_ talks about how the original title of the ice cream truck song is actually "N Love A Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!" (The N-word is used in the title and lyrics.)
The TikTok also includes the actual song recordingand its as horrible as youd imagine. Sample lyrics include, "For here, they're made with a half a pound of co'l. There's nothing like a watermelon for a hungry coon."
People were blown away in the comments of Violas post. "Wow! The more you know!!!!" Octavia Spencer wrote. Apparently, this isn't news to everyone, though. "Yep," said Lenny Kravitz.
What are the racist origins of the ice cream truck song?
The song was originally recorded by a man named Harry C. Browne and released in 1916, according to the Smithsonian . However, the song stole its melody from an early 19th century tune called "Turkey in the Straw," which is the song's more commonly known name now.
That original melody was brought to America's colonies by Scottish and Irish immigrants who settled along the Appalachian Trail. They added lyrics that mirrored what was happening in their lives, NPR reports.
In Browne's version, the lyrics changed to feature racist names for and stereotypes about Black people. Not only that, but the original art with the song featured racist stereotypes.
"Even the graphics for the songhad a big-lipped, black face African American doing a jig on it. And then in the video that Columbia Records released, it had a huge piece of watermelon and an African-American male enjoying the watermelon," @_vanillabee_ says. "It even went as far as to say that watermelon is the Black mans ice cream."
How did the song end up on ice cream trucks?
The song eventually became affiliated with ice cream, and later ice cream trucks, because ice cream parlors played popular minstrel songs of the time, NPR reported. Somehow, this one song became a favorite and is still played on many ice cream trucks today.