A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 24, 2009
“I scream for ice cream” (“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”)

“I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” is the title of a popular 1927 song. However, the spelling “I scream” for “ice cream” has been used in New York City since at least 1825.
“I scream. You scream. The police come. It’s awkward“ is a jocular variation. “What do ghosts eat for dessert?”/“I scream (ice scream)” is a popular Halloween riddle.
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
Pg. 530:
Billy Moll
U.S. songwriter, 1905-1968
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream.
Title of song (1927)
Heptune Jazz and Blues Lyrics Page
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream
(Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, Robert A. K. King)
Transcribed from vocals by Tom Stacks performing with Harry Reser’s Six Jumping Jacks, recorded January 14, 1928;
From Harry Reser’s Six Jumping Jacks, volume 2, The Old Masters, mb 128.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
In the land of ice and snows
Up among the Eskimos,
There’s a college known as Ogiwawa!
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 cheer leader,
Oh, what a guy!
He’s got a frozen face just like an Eskimo Pie!
When he says, “Come on, let’s go!”
Though it’s forty-five below,
This is what the Eskimos all holler:
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Tuesdays, Mondays, we all scream for sundaes,
Boola-boola, sarsaparoolla,
If you got chocolate, we’ll take vanoola!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Frosts and malts that are peppered and salted,
Oh, spumoni, oh, cartoni,
And confidentially, we’ll take baloney,
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!
April 1962, New-York Historical Society Quarterly, “New York City in 1825: A Newly Discovered Description” by Bayrd Still, pg. 2:
(Quoting a newspaper of 1825—ed.)
Met a strong-lunged fellow with a large tin bucket, shouting with hideous gesticulations, “I scream!”  Found he had ice-cream for sale.
30 November 1839, Baltimore (MD) Sun, pg. 1:
I likes to holler for oshters better than ice cream—caze the boys plagues me, and hollers, “I scream,”—and some of the little fellers kin holler “lilly, lilly, lilly,” as well as most as I kin—but they hain’t got the voice, poor little things.
1 July 1851, Huron Reflector (Norwalk, OH), pg. 3, col. 6:
And now we will lay you a wager,
If you will call on Rose & Gager,
You will find some nice Ice Cream,
So cold ‘twill almost make you scream.
(Norwalk Saloon by Rose & Gager—ed.)
6 May 1871, Portsmouth (OH) Times, pg. 3, col. 3:
GREENUPSBURGERS now scream for an ice cream saloon, as the warm weather approaches.
4 June 1873, Critic-Record (Washington, DC), “The Ice Cream Makers’ Home,” pg. 1:
They make a practice during the Summer months of carting their stuff, which would never be eaten if once seen while in process of manufacture, about the streets during the evening, the vendors screaming aloud the familiar cry of “I scream,” “I scream, ten cents plate, small plates five cents.”
13 July 1873, New York (NY) Times, “The Fourth Excursion.” pg. 8:
The ice-cream tickets called forth the inquiry from some of the boys, “What do you do when yer mother licks yer?” followed immediately by the answer “I scream.”  The application to the ticket is easily seen.
Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music
I scream; or, Ice cream / by M. H. Thornton.
Thornton, M. H..
Boston: Perry, John F., 1877.
Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices, 4 parts) with piano
Music for a nation: American sheet music, 1870-1885.
1 score
10 June 1879, Macon (GA) Weekly Telegraph, pg. 1:
Sauntering about the place one day, he was passed by a burly negro with a wheelbarrow, yelling at the top of his voice, “Ice Cream—Ice Cream.” “You Scream?” said the good old man.
3 June 1885, Wheeling (WV) Register, pg. 4:
I Scream Festival.
An Ice Cream festival will take place at the Fulton M. E. Church on Thursday evening, June 4th, for the benefit of the church.
7 June 1889, Columbus (OH) Daily Enquirer, pg. 4 ad:
They Scream!
I Scream!
Everybody Screams!
Boyce Bros.’ Ice Cream Cakes.
4 January 1895, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. 6:
In summer days ice makes ice cream
And o’er it sweet girls gush.
In winter thaws it makes “I scream”
As they flounder through the slush.
26 April 1901, Terril (Iowa) Tribune, pg. 5, col. 1:
I scream for ice cream! Don’t! Go to Cook’s Restaurant and get a dish.
Chronicling America
21 June 1904, Paducah (KY) Sun, pg. 5, col. 6 ad:
She Scream
You Scream
Ice Cream Freezers R Now Ripe
(Geo. O. Hart Sons & Co.—ed.)
8 September 1926, Xenia (OH) Evening Gazette, pg. 6, col. 2:
“You scream and I scream for ice cream,” was one of the yells heard in the grandstands this year.
OCLC WorldCat record
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
Author: Billy Moll; Howard Johnson; Robert A King; Anthony J Franchini
Publisher: New York : Shapiro, Bernstein and Co., ©1927.
Edition/Format: Musical score : Popular music : English
Time magazine
Friday, Jan. 26, 1968
Died. Billy Moll, 62, songwriter who in the 1920s composed Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, and I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream; in Stoughton, Wis.
Google Books
I Scream for Ice Cream: Pearls from the Pantomime
By Gyles Daubeney Brandreth
Published by Eyre Methuen
Google Books
We Scream for Ice Cream
By Bernice Chardiet and Grace Maccarone
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Published by Scholastic
Google Books
We All Scream for Ice Cream!:
The Scoop on America’s Favorite Dessert

By Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by Sandra Forrest
New York, NY: HarperCollins
Google Books
Scream for Ice Cream
By Carolyn Keene
Illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, April 24, 2009 • Permalink

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