What is the ice-cream-truck music in the UK?

Here in the U.S. I frequently hear the ice-cream man, driving around neighborhoods in his truck, playing the same songs. It’s usually “The Entertainer” and “Turkey in the Straw.”

Do they have an ice-cream truck service in other parts of the world? If so, what songs do you guys get with your Popsicles?

In New Zealand, the trucks play “Greensleeves”

Wow, that sounds like a real downer.

Well, it’s a beautiful melody, although I think it’s in a minor key. Maybe if you speed it up?

Over here (the States), Greensleeves is most often associated with the Christmas carol with the same melody. So it struck me as odd that they’d play it on ice cream trucks in N.Z., until it dawned on me that in New Zealand, Christmas comes in the summer! What lunacy! :slight_smile:

Greensleeves in Australia too.

Dorian mode, actually.

I can’t describe the tune on the ice-cream carts in Bangkok – usually Nestle brand – but it would have driven me psycho berserk long ago if I had to work one.

Yes, we do but I get the impression that they are more common in other countries. My current location has really regular ice-cream-truck service but that’s the exception.

I’ve never seen one that plays a song. They just ring a bell. Actually, usually they are strictly speaking gelato trucks - so no popsicles for us.

I haven’t heard an ice cream truck for years here in Israel, but the tunes I remember are “Hey Jude” and the theme from Godfather. And yes, I am serious about the latter.

Which is a minor key or as your cite says, it has a “minor feel or character.”

Modes aren’t quite keys, minor or major. They’re kind of “proto-keys”. So yes, there is a distinction between a minor key and a mode that has a minor feel or character.

Our ice cream van plays “The Entertainer”…Scott Joplin, if ya didn’t know

It still manages to get all the children of the neighbourhood running out into the streets in anticipation at a distance of two blocks.

We’ve actually done this thread before. Ice cream vans here play all sorts of tunes, but Greensleeves must be way up there. I had a local van which played a Mozart piano sonata (K545, classical fans) although actually I think that tune has been used in a popular song or two.

Where I come from it’s the Popeye theme.

Here in Belfast the van on the estate where my daughter lives plays, unless I’m mistaken, a piece of music from the Southern United States, “Little Dixie”? The music played by Confederate troops (in the movies :slight_smile: )

Greensleaves and The Entertainer up here, too.

The local van here plays O’ Sol O Mio*. Is it the law that ice cream vans have to play tinny distorted music which often doesn’t start at the begining of the tune or get to the end, just use an annoying fragment?

  • aka Just one Cornetto from an old Walls advert.

Growing up in '70’s NZ, it was traditionally Greensleeves, as others have noted. Our local Mr Whippy always stopped at my next-door neighbours place.

But a lot of vans started playing Music Box Dancer in the 80’s after it’s chart appearance in 1979. Wikipedia notes that it is also popular in North America for this purpose.


The one that seemed to drive back and forth in front of my house 50,000 times yesterday was doing a medley of “Pop Goes the Weasel”, “London Bridge is Falling Down” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Irritating is what it was.