Permanently warped

I’m working at home today. (Ah, windows that open! And barefoot! What a joy!) One of the two ice cream trucks that play “Turkey in the Straw” just went by. (There’s another title, but I’ve forgotten it now.) The other one plays just the verse; this one plays the verse and chorus. Every time this one goes by, I cannot help but think of my friend Leslie’s parody, titled “Family Tradition.” It has more to do with the Jerry Springer Show than a quaint traditional life. Here’s the chorus:

Family tradition, family at home
Family secrets, family stoned
If Norman Rockwell had thrown us a bone
Then other folks with families would not feel so all alone

Curse you, Leslie! That ice cream truck goes by at least three times a day!

She doesn’t have it on her web site, but she has other lyrics and mp3s there too.
Late update: I was wrong: “Family Tradition” is online. Go to and at the bottom of the list is the link to the mp3 of “Family Tradition”.


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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10 Responses to Permanently warped

  1. altivo says:

    Better “Turkey in the Straw” than “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man” which is what the ice cream truck played endlessly on our street in Chicago every summer.

    Interesting factoid: Those old tune players are operated by a drum of some sort that can be inserted or loaded backward. Half of one summer it played “Popeye” backwards. Yes, I could still tell and was ripping my fur out. The ice cream seller was evidently tone deaf and could NOT tell. The neighborhood kids didn’t care, apparently.

    • songdogmi says:

      “Popeye” backwards, egad!

      There is one truck here that has sound effects interspersed in the music. I really don’t like that one. There’s another one — haven’t heard it this year, but it was frequent last year — that had a drum with a huge selection of tunes, about 30-45 seconds of a bunch of different ones. I’d hear one or two Christmas songs, a couple of popular Broadway tunes, and some other standards of the ice cream truck genre. That one was entertaining.

      Another friend, Mike Dorn, wrote a song called “I Killed the Ice Cream Man”. It’s sick and twisted, with the line “I just can’t take the jingle jangle, jingle jangle, in my head.” He has to sing that one with a disclaimer.

      • altivo says:

        Actually, I much preferred the old jingling bells sounded by pulling a cord. The Good Humor trucks of my own childhood had those. The variously generated endless repeating 24-note music is aggravating enough to make even ME want to kill the ice cream man. (Or at least pull the plug on his noise box.)

        We get lots of obnoxious noise at home even out here, and the amount has increased tremendously in the last ten years, but stupid ice cream truck ditties at least are something we no longer have to hear.

      • songdogmi says:

        I think there’s a truck with the old jingle every once in a while in my neighborhood. It’s nice to hear. But pulling that bell constantly while driving must be a chore.

      • altivo says:

        No more so than shifting gears. The old trucks all had manual transmissions. ;p

    • hellmutt says:

      That is a seriously cool factoid.

      I once saw a supernatural magic-and-demons-type show (Charmed?) that had an ice cream truck with an evil magic jingle. Apparently naughty demon children love ice cream as much as naughty other children do…

      • altivo says:

        Now that I think of it, “backward” is the wrong term. The drum is inserted end for end, which results in the tune being “upside-down.” In other words, it starts with what would be the note at the end of the tune, and takes each interval in the reverse direction of what it normally would do, going down when it would go up, and up when it would go down, as well as running the note sequence in reverse. The result is pretty awful and roughly equivalent to turning a sheet of printed music upside down and playing it as if it were rightways.

  2. hellmutt says:

    Do I spy three or four duets with someone I know? Those at least are getting downloaded as soon as I get home. 🙂

    And egads, I still need to get your postal address. Sorry for being terminally disorganised.

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