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Russ Chandler
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Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« : 23.06.07 at 13:47 »
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Not sure if this is the appropriate forum but I thought I'd share something that happened to me last night.
 
Playing a few tunes at a gig in Loughton in Essex. The audience being made up of mainly rather flossy women of a certain age I was going through my repertoire trying to come up with suitable material away from my usual range of salty traditional songs with the occasional lefty polemic thrown in. I have an arrangement of Ice Cream Man and thought its wistful vision of childhood might be just the ticket.
 
The song seemed to go down well but when I sat down my friend said "That was a brave song to do for this crowd"
 
"What do you mean?" I said
 
"Well, a song about a drug dealer?"
 
"It's not about a drug dealer!" I exclaimed, "I mean it even mentions a pink Bedford Dormobile!"
 
"Yes" said my pal, "but I expect that was just a cover..."
 
Now I'm always rubbish at spotting things like this so come on guys, time to fess up: did you really write Ice Cream Man as a song about selling drugs to kids?  
 
And then give it to Julie Covington to sing?
 
I think we should be told!
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Gerry Smith
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #1: 23.06.07 at 15:44 »
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Hi Russ
 
'Fraid this one is a bit of an old chestnut. There was a long and at times heated debate about this about three years ago - see posts around Feb 04 (say MV10477) in the archive.  My view was that the song was indeed metaphorical in the manner which you state, but Pete's final word omn the matter was that any such references were nothing more than a 'jeu d'espirit'.
 
Cheers
 
Gerry
 
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Cary
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #2: 23.06.07 at 21:29 »
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But I've never looked at an Ice Ceram van the same way since!!
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #3: 23.06.07 at 22:27 »
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More to the point, Russ: what's a "flossy woman of a certain age" ?  
 
As I lead a rather sheltered life, and am myself a lady of a certain age, I possibly may not wish to know, however.  Undecided
 
Naomi
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Russ Chandler
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #4: 24.06.07 at 10:34 »
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Well they're all very into angels and something they call "abundant living" which is all to do with the power of positive thinking, apparently. Oh, and big flowy floral dresses too.  
 
Now I haven't got problem with positive thinking (or floral dresses for that matter - in fact I'm all in favour of those)  but at one point the lady in charge got all misty eyed about how the all merciful universe had seen fit to cause the local shoe shop to donate a pair of slippers for the raffle. Spooky, huh?  
 
Personally I wondered that given 30,000 children die everyday from die of malnutrition and preventable diseases the all merciful universe should spend a bit less time on the raffle prizes and pay a bit more attention to the bigger picture but there you go.
 
They liked the song!
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #5: 24.06.07 at 11:34 »
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There must be a song in there somewhere..
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #6: 24.06.07 at 18:18 »
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'Nuff said, Russ.  
 
N
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #7: 26.06.07 at 11:53 »
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Did anyone watch "New Tricks" last night? A repeat I think but spookily it was about an ice cream business that was a front for selling drugs to kids!
 
Given the age and cultural references of the New Tricks cast and script I wouldn't be surprised if it's as much a must-view in other households as our own but if not, then I commend it to MVs of a certain age.
 
Leslie
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #8: 26.06.07 at 13:36 »
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The Irish chanteuse Mary Coughlan recorded a rather jolly little Johnny Mulhern number called Ice Cream Man for her 1987 album Under the Influence, and in that song the singer is waiting for an ice cream seller who is definitely trading in something more than ice creams for the kids.  
 
A snatch of that song can be caught here. The song is also to be found on Love Me or Leave Me: The Best of Mary Coughlan. Your local library will probably have a copy of that.
 
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #9: 27.06.07 at 23:57 »
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I hold vague, and possibly misleading, memories that Jonathan Richman faced similar accusations about the subtext of his Ice Cream Man.
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #10: 03.07.07 at 16:08 »
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AP:
 
MISSION, Texas (AP) — Police say the jingle of this ice cream truck meant pot-sickles. Police say elementary school students tipped them off to an ice cream truck driver who was apparently selling $5 and $10 bags of marijuana from the truck. Most customers were in the third, fourth, and fifth grades.
 
“It’s a scary thought, but that’s the info we received,” Mission police Chief Leo Longoria said.
 
Raymundo Flores, a 40-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, was arrested Thursday on charges of possession of marijuana. He was transported to Hidalgo County jail after a judge set bond at $30,000. His case will likely be turned over to federal immigration officials, Assistant Police Chief Robert Dominguez said.
 
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #11: 03.07.07 at 20:16 »
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Closer to home The Glasgow Ice Cream Wars:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_Ice_Cream_Wars  
 
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #12: 04.07.07 at 16:42 »
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on 03.07.07 at 20:16, Cary wrote:
Closer to home The Glasgow Ice Cream Wars:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_Ice_Cream_Wars  
 

 
Closer to whose home?  Cheesy
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #13: 05.07.07 at 17:39 »
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on 04.07.07 at 16:42, BogusTrumper wrote:

 
Closer to whose home?  Cheesy

 
Good point.
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #14: 06.07.07 at 11:13 »
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Closer to my home. I live about 15 miles from that area. Incidentaly about 35 years ago when I was a kid an ice cream man called Peter Nardini had a round in our "scheme". Peter is the father of Peter Nardini the singer songwriter, not very well known but has has a few minor hits in Scotland.
Well, another ice cream man started to work Peters ice cream round and this really got Peters back up, so much that Peter beat up the intruder who never came back.
The intruder turned out to be none other than Fred West who lived in the area for a while.
 
Has Ice cream man hidden meaning? No.
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #15: 06.07.07 at 12:38 »
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on 06.07.07 at 11:13, Robert Reid wrote:
...an ice cream man called Peter Nardini had a round in our "scheme". Peter is the father of Peter Nardini the singer songwriter

And, I assume, of Daniela Nardini, the actress (Anna in "This Life").
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #16: 06.07.07 at 12:54 »
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No, that would be the Largs Nardini's.  
 
http://www.scotland.org.uk/food/nardini_250101.htm
 
Peter Nardini is related to them but he's in the Wishaw branch of the clan.
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #17: 06.07.07 at 19:53 »
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Whilst we're nicely off topic I'll mention:
http://www.spatial-literacy.org/UCLnames/Surnames.aspx  
Which shows the distribution of surnames in the UK in 1998 and 1881. Nardinis apparently tending mostly to inhabit an area a bit further east and south of Edinburgh. To bring yourself back on topic you could always check out Atkin.
Not quite sure what happenned to the Birkills after 1881 though Smiley
 
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Russ Chandler
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #18: 07.07.07 at 12:43 »
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Blimey - in both years Chandlers are concentrated to the south west of London down to the  coast (which would make sense since Chandler is a classically associated with ports and ships and stuff) but also, and to my mind a bit unexpectedly in Gloucestershire.
 
Perhaps I'm wrong to expect that by 1881 the original meaning of a surname would still have any geographical resonance?
 
The two thoughts that occur are 1) why should that be and 2) why on earth do I find it so interesting?!
 
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Re: Ice Cream Man hidden meaning?
« Reply #19: 07.07.07 at 17:44 »
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I think it's impossible not to find that stuff interesting, Russ. If I ever get any time to spare I'd love to do a bit of reading on the subject. I won't go on too much in case there are some off-topic bouncers waiting to do me over outside on the footpath out of range of the security cameras, but it has long been a fascination of mine how surnames can coincide with the characteristics of an individual. Chicken or egg? I don't know.
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