ANSWERS: 34
  • Tough question, open for lots of criticism I'm sure. However, the actual answer is no. Ice cream trucks play a variety of music, mostly depending on the Country in which it is operated. In some circumstances the local area of the vendor will dictate the song, as would a certain type of event. The two most common songs were originally "Yankee Doodle" or "London Bridge". This was based on a couple of factors. One, they were often region specific, they were both songs that all kids were learning in school, therefore making them instantly identifiable to the target market. Secondly, the music goes back a long way to the time of music boxes. Hopefully you remember the old type of music boxes that were hand cranked and tines would strike a raised notch on the metal cylinder thus creating a tune. It was not economical for early vendors to have more than one or two of the music boxes. Variety in the music likely began in the form of competition from rival ice cream vendors. Two competing vendors would use different music to ensure that their customer base would know who was in the area. Today, the sky is the limit. Most of the music played is something with very high notes as it grabs the attention of the audience better than the deeper notes would. For that reason the old classics have stood the test of time. A bit long winded, I hope that helps.
  • in NYC (Mister Softee trucks) they play Pop Goes the Weasel, and have been causing quite a "noise pollution" controversy in recent years, basically since Bloomberg came into office. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/a/2004/06/20/MNG42787MS1.DTL New York -- Ask most New Yorkers what constitutes noise pollution, and you'll get an earful about blaring car horns, a perennial Manhattan gripe, and people screaming into cell phones, a fast-growing irritant. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a sweeping anti-noise initiative unveiled last week, is targeting an unlikely -- and some say, blameless -- noisemaker: the city's ubiquitous ice cream trucks. Bloomberg's proposal would force the roving ice cream vendors to silence the sing-song-like jingles that ring out from their trucks as they cruise city neighborhoods. Instead, they would have to rely on old-fashioned bells to announce their presence. The plan is part of Bloomberg's effort to lower the general din throughout Manhattan's five boroughs, and includes proposed curbs on barking dogs, ear-splitting jackhammers and moaning air conditioners. But the assault on ice cream trucks has stirred the greatest debate. Ice cream sellers say a ban on jingles could imperil their business. Some residents are sympathetic, saying the prohibition would deprive the city of a sonorous pleasure that conjures nostalgic memories of childhood. "It's a good noise," said Debbie Stein of Manhattan, who often buys her children ice cream from the vendors. "We have worse problems in the world than someone playing music," said Michelle Gallo, a franchisee of Mister Softee, whose trucks are fixtures throughout the city, while dishing out soft serve in midtown Manhattan. "We're not trying to hurt anyone," Gallo said. "We're just trying to sell ice cream." The jingle appears to be central to Mister Softee's self-image: the song launches with each visit to the company's Web site. Mister Softee drivers in Manhattan insist they play the tune sparingly, in part because they park in high-traffic intersections where they're plainly visible. But the melodies are crucial to other trucks that circle the streets in search of customers. "I never play the music," said Peter Floros, who drives a Mister Softee truck on the Upper East Side. "Most people ask me to play the music." Upon request, Floros played the song at full volume. Few passers-by noticed, and no one seemed disturbed. But many people are bothered by the trucks, said Jordan Barowitz, a Bloomberg spokesman. "Noise is the No. 1 quality-of-life complaint in New York City," Barowitz said, adding that the city received about 250 complaints last month about bleating ice cream trucks. "When a truck is parked in front of your house and it's running its jingle for hours on end it gets pretty annoying," he said. Current law limits the playing of the tunes to once every 10 minutes, but the ban is widely ignored and impossible to enforce, Barowitz said. If passed by the City Council, the ban on jingles would start in 2006, forcing reliance on bells. "They'll still be able to do the necessary notification so kids will know the ice cream truck is in the neighborhood," Barowitz said. "The kids have developed a Pavlovian response to the jingle. I'm sure they'll develop a similar response to the bells." Still, to some New Yorkers, there are better ways to achieve peace and quiet. "It's ridiculous," said Dorothy Terminelle, 75, as she ate a cup of vanilla soft serve dipped in chocolate. "The children hear the (jingle), they want to get their ice cream. It's part of living. It's a treat," she said. (but yeah in my childhood i remember "The Entertainer")
  • Adding what Anonymous said, i also want to add that "Pop goes the weasel" has been played in the US states, though i'm not sure where. I'm sure if you have heard the original songs played by the ice cream trucks somewhere else, you should recognise them right away.
  • Every Ice Cream truck I have heard in my area has played "Turkey in the Straw".... It gets stuck in my head.. --------------------------------------------------- thintaonga- How could anyone really know all the songs every ice cream truck has ever played? Obviously it reflects the trucks in the area in which I live, which is all the information that any one person could have. I have not travelled around the globe on a world-wide ice cream truck tour. Most people haven't. Why rate my answer down? Do you have something against Turkey in the Straw? Obviously everyone who answered this question has heard different songs, so combined we have all answered the questions. Thanks for bringing down my rating unnecessarily. I appreciate it.
  • As a Brit, I can safely say I've *never* heard an ice cream van play either "Yankee Doodle" or "London Bridge' (which is an odd thing for an American ice cream van to play, if you ask me...?) Over here, it's the old classic "Greensleeves" - I've never heard one play anything different (OK, I tell a lie, my cousin once told me that there is a van that patrols the street outside The Kop (Liverpool F.C.) on matchdays that plays "You'll Never Walk Alone" but then, obviously, the driver is a fan). Other than that, it's 'Greensleeves' everywhere. I can safely say that I, personally, have never heard a van play anything else. No, I lie again, when I was little and staying with my grandparents (who live in Leeds) their local van played "Girls and Boys Come Out to Play" (don't know whether that's known over there). But it's usually Greensleeves.
  • hmmmm, didnt cheech and chong have an icecream truck? i think the song is nice dreams
  • Mr. Softee trucks play the Mr. Softee theme song, not Pop Goes the weasel...
  • I live in Australia (there's only one perth glory!!) and all of the ICT's i've eard play "Greensleeves". Some old Irish tune I'm told.
  • I heard an ice cream truck play "Silence of the Lambs" before.
  • Here in Australia it's also "Greensleeves" most of them seem to be old bedford vans, but you're more likely to see them at public events rather than just driving around the streets these days.
  • Different cities, different songs. no, most ice cream trucks play different songs. i only hope they are wearing ear plugs to protect their sanity. in seattle, i heard a different ice cream truck song compared to the one i heard in atlanta. playing one particular ice cream truck song, in one city, has a purpose......children recognition. and , to empty your pocket.
  • The songs I remember hearing most often are "Pop Goes the Weasel," "Here We Go 'round the Mulberrybush" and..."The William Tell Overture" (!!) The songs chosen are usually easily recognizable 'kid songs' or at least songs well known to kids. ( William Tell was the theme to the Lone Ranger Show.) The real annoying thing is that they just play the first few bars, or at best a verse of the song, over and over and over. A few years back I shouted, over the incessant 'Arkansas Traveler' (Turkey in the Straw) to the ice-cream vender, " Don't you get tired of hearing only part of the same song over and over?" Her answer was that she did and sometimes she drove her husband's truck since "it plays 'Ring Around the Rosy'." So hearing only part of the song over and over again all day long does affect the mind. Actually a particular vender will play the same song, so that kids who hear it coming a block over will know who is coming, they do want to build up a loyal customer base. And very disappointing to scrape up all your pennies, run outside to buy a Pahsikle and it's that guy with the yucky melty soft-serve ice cream cones. Even more disappointing; we heard the truck coming, scrounged and begged pennies, stood there on the curb, "It's two streets over,.... now one street... here it comes!" A car pulling a trailer carrying a huge billboard drove slowly by as we stood there slackjawed. "Vote for So and So for Constable." We for sure never voted for that so and so, no matter how many Snow-Cones he tried to bribe us with.
  • In my area of the world (Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.), i have heard them play "The Entertainer" a lot.
  • In the UK "Greensleeves" is certainly the most popular. As a child, my father had 3 Ice Cream vans..... 2 played "Greensleeves" but the 3rd played "Brahms' Lullaby" (which, incidentally, became his grand-daughter's favourite tune some 20 years later) The mechanism for the "Chimes" as we called them was a rotating cylinder with pins on, that plucked metal leafs of varying length, rather similar to a clockwork music box, with an electric pick-up that fed a loudspeaker horn. If the clockwork was not kept wound up, you would hear the tune gradually slow, and slow, and grind to a stop.
  • In the UK "Greensleeves" is certainly the most popular. As a child, my father had 3 Ice Cream vans..... 2 played "Greensleeves" but the 3rd played "Brahms' Lullaby" (which, incidentally, became his grand-daughter's favourite tune some 20 years later) The mechanism for the "Chimes" as we called them was a rotating cylinder with pins on, that plucked metal leafs of varying length, rather similar to a clockwork music box, with an electric pick-up that fed a loudspeaker horn. If the clockwork was not kept wound up, you would hear the tune gradually slow, and slow, and grind to a stop.
  • I seem to think they do play the same song and if I recall correctly it's the "Yankee Doodle". I remember hearing that song blocks away and all the kids would scatter home for a dollar for ice cream. It's not a strange song, it's actually very nostalgic.
  • It's definitely the "Mr. Softee theme song" in this part of Toronto.
  • Yhere is now a CD being sold online via the company that helped me produced it. http://www.inventron.co.uk There are also some on EBay.co.uk that we are auctioning All the tunes: Boys and Girls Greensleeves Oranges and Lemons Popeye The Salior O Sole Mio Happy Wanderer Blue Danube Oh Oh Antonio Match of The Day Tavern In The Town Teddy Bears Picnic Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head Swedish Rhapsody Go click http://www.inventron.co.uk
  • Most Ice cream trucks have a "music box" that plays the songs. These are what gives the classic "midi type" sound(kind of like a toy jack-in-the-box). The music boxes now come in both analog & digital. These come with pre-set songs which vary. Usually in the US these songs are grade school familiar so as to attract children. I have also heard tunes like, The Entertainer, Music Box Dancer & Fur Elise. Lately I have seen many CD's for sale but the "Music Box" is the key to the traditional Ice Cream Truck sound.
  • In my neighborhood, the ice cream truck (which is operated by a member of an organized crime ice-cream syndicate, who suffers from some sort of hallucinogenic drug psychosis) plays "Turkey in the Straw," a Civil War Era square-dance song. It is really quite maddening.
  • I live in the UK, and I think the ice-cream van that comes to my street plays a tune that's from 'The Merry Widow.'
  • Ice Cream Man - By: Van Halen
  • I've driven an ice cream truck for about 10 yrs. now (in California) & the digital music box has 4 tunes- "the entertainer", "pop goes the weasel", one that sounds like "do your ears hang low", & a "back-up" beep.
  • this is the song my ice cream truck plays idk wut it is though http://blogfiles.wfmu.org/LB/mrsoftee.mp3
  • Popeye the Sailorman in Crawley , England.
  • mine plays the same 2 pop goes the weasle poly wally doodle
  • In Grand Prairie, TX, USA, one truck keeps playing Christmas songs... in August and September! I'm mean listening to Silent Night, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer when it is 90 degrees (in Fahrenheit, of course), it drives me mad!!! Normally, others do play the Entertainer, Pop Goes the Weasel, and London Bridge. Now a days, I noticed they sell tacos in addition to ice cream products. It would be funny if they played "Tainted Love", LOL. How about "Mr. Boombastic".
  • The only place I know of where there is an icecream truck is in Ocean City, and the ones there have never played anything but the Entertainer.
  • This isn't really an answer to your question, but if you didn't know some smart parents in the UK told their kids when the icecream van is playing music it means it is sold out of icecream.
  • I've never heard an ice cream truck outside of the TV. They still have those?
  • That spooky, horrible, warbley, electronic music? I think it is the twisted tune of a psychotic pied-piper-murderer. I'm sure that ice cream trucks are really driven by clowns...
  • Where I live, sadly it's Dixie. First of all I apologize for all content on the video.
  • Diffent ice cream trucks play diffrent music in diffrent area's. like here in toledo ohio we have 32 diff. songs that can be played. including Happy birthday, pop goes the wiesel ect.Some area's still have the old music box and only play a total of 6 selections. http://www.yummytreatsvending.com yummy treats vending toledo, ohio 43605 PS for all of the parents that buy from an Ice Cream Truck Please Please go with your child to make selections.
  • Some trucks play the same song but in Salinas I'm the only ice cream truck that plays LAMBADA sonds great the older croud loves it. my music box has 12 songs 12 sirens and 12 animal songs the nichols box which is the most expensive usally only has two songs and two sirens. ice cream man harleybayo see our truck on flikr orange and white like the 50/50 dream bar

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