Let’s take a moment to talk about ice cream. But only a moment. On this holiday weekend, better to use your time eating ice cream, than reading about it. I’ll be brief.
My husband and I eat ice cream almost every day. (The current favorite flavor in our freezer is Stroh’s Moose Tracks.) While students at Michigan State University in the 1970s, we patronized the dairy store when we could afford to. From 1987-2007, with more money in our pockets, we pledged our allegiance to ice cream churned out 300 miles to the west: in the Babcock Hall dairy plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On summer weekends, we joined the long line leading to the ice cream counter in the Memorial Union, then took our cones outside to sit along the shore of Lake Mendota. I still miss the orange custard−chocolate chip at UW-Madison.
As a child, I visited the local Richardson’s Dairy with my family. We brought back our empty half-gallon glass milk bottles, in their handy wire carrier, to exchange for a new supply, then often headed to the back of the store for an ice cream cone. Both my parents like ice cream, too, and didn’t hold back on this treat.
During those childhood years, when the topic of ice cream arose, some older relative could be counted on to say, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” I figured it was just a play on words. Now I know that the phrase is actually the title of a 1927 tune by Robert King, Howard Johnson, and Billy Moll. It started as a novelty song, recorded by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, and later gained traction as a jazz piece.
Some call it a college song, because of the verse:
In the land of ice and snows
Up among the Eskimos
There’s a college known as Oo-gi-wa-wa.
You should hear those college boys
Gee! They make an awful noise
When they sing an Eskimo tra-la-la.
They’ve got a leader, big cheerleader, oh! what a guy
He’s got a frozen face, just like an Eskimo pie,
When he says “Come on, let’s go”
Tho’ it’s forty-five below
This is what those Eskimos will holler:
I scream, you scream,
We all scream for ice cream…
Here’s a fun bit of nostalgia for your 4th of July (instrumental only for the first minute, then vocals start):
Copyright © 2014 by Paulette Bochnig Sharkey
All rights reserved.