Brits Battle For Cheesy Glory By Writing National Anthem For Cheddar

Jul 9, 2012
Originally published on July 10, 2012 8:54 am

To sum up the spirit of a nation or an international sporting event in an anthem is no easy task. But what about capturing a love of fermented milk products in song?

The British Cheese Board is on the hunt for an anthem to help promote British cheddar cheese to the world, as you may have read recently in The Wall Street Journal.

They've narrowed down about 150 entries to five candidates (two of whom wrote cheddar-inspired lyrics to Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1) and now they need your help to pick the best song. You can vote on the British Cheese Board's website until August 3. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the voting form.)

The winner of the song competition will win a year's supply of British cheddars, two weekend passes to a food and music festival in September, and of course, eternal cheesy glory.

Here are the final five with some highlights of their sharpest (ahem) lyrics on cheddar:

Upbeat Choir, written by Tim Sutton

"Cheddar, you are my Venus / Cheddar, you are the word / None shall come between us / Incomparable curd"

Paddy Wex

"Bring me my knife / Bring me my fork / Bring me the dishes I desire / Hot cheese on toast / Cooled just a bit / So I don't set my tongue on fire"

Dr Busker

"And near those cows in ancient times / Raised up on England's pastures green / And in their milk make cheese divine / The best that England's ever seen"

Alwyn Thomas

"Creamy, sometimes mature / It's what your cracker's for / Melts in your mouth for sure / Our nation's cheese"

Don Edwards

"Every pickled onion / Dreams of lying beside / A wedge of golden cheddar / Crusty bread on the side"

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Now, news from the realm of fermented milk products. We've learned that the British Cheese Board has narrowed the field in its competition to create an anthem for cheddar cheese.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: (Singing) We love our cheddar cheese. No imitations, please. We love our cheese.

BLOCK: That entry is one of more than 100 sent in since May. Lyricists were asked to set their odes to cheddar to one of three traditional British tunes, the hymn, "Jerusalem," the patriotic classic "Land of Hope and Glory" or the National Anthem.

Now, five finalists remain. Among them, this stirring opus recorded in a pub comparing cheddar favorably to foreign cheeses.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: (Singing) (Unintelligible).They just don't compare.

BLOCK: Another finalist takes a folksy approach to celebrating the taste of cheddar.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 3: (Singing) A noble flavor bound to please, fit for a plowman or a king. The gorgeous taste of cheddar cheese.

BLOCK: Here's another group praising the incomparable curd.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 4: (Singing) Cheddar, you are my (unintelligible). Cheddar, you are my (unintelligible).

BLOCK: The Cheese Board plans to announce a winner in August. Meanwhile, the public is invited to vote for these masterworks at the board's website. The winner receives a year's supply of British cheddar. We failed to ask how much cheese that actually is. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.