BLACK VOICES
05/13/2014 04:42 pm ET Updated May 13, 2014

Recall That Ice Cream Truck Song? We Have Unpleasant News For You

Wayne Fogden via Getty Images

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is about a virulently racist song. Read no further if you wish to avoid racist imagery and slurs.

"Nigger Love A Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!" merits the distinction of the most racist song title in America. Released in March 1916 by Columbia Records, it was written by actor Harry C. Browne and played on the familiar depiction of black people as mindless beasts of burden greedily devouring slices of watermelon.

I came across this gem while researching racial stereotypes. I was a bit conflicted on whether the song warranted a listen. Admittedly, though, beneath my righteous indignation, I was rather curious about how century-old, overt racism sounded and slightly amused by the farcical title. When I started the song, the music that tumbled from the speakers was that of the ever-recognizable jingle of the ice cream truck. (For the record, not all ice cream trucks play this same song, but a great many of them do.)

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