Cheesy Songs

Sep 13, 2019
Originally published on September 18, 2019 9:58 am

This music parody is not for the lactose intolerant, as contestants guess which cheese musician Jonathan Coulton is singing about.

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants, Dese'Rae and Rita. Our next game goes out to all of my lactose-heads. It's a rich and smooth music parody about cheese. Let's check in with our contestants. Dese'Rae, so I heard you and your family have two really cool traditions every July.

DESE'RAE STAGE: Yeah, so because we're gay and things are as they are, my wife and I both carried a child, and we each had to adopt the one the other carried. So because we didn't want adoption day to be a sad, weird memory, we decided to do a good one. So Gus' adoption day was 7/11, so that's Slurpee Day.

(LAUGHTER)

STAGE: And Theo's adoption day was July 26, so we looked that up, and that's National Coffee Milkshake Day.

EISENBERG: Oh.

STAGE: So we're just going to get regular milkshakes...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

STAGE: ...For the time being.

EISENBERG: That's awesome.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, Rita, you and your friends have a tradition that you do every July-ish as well. What is that?

RITA MIKITA: We spend a weekend in a very remote part of Ohio camping, and there's quite a bit of nudity involved.

EISENBERG: OK. Sounds fun.

MIKITA: Some people wear clothes. I wear clothes sometimes. But, you know, a lot of people take it as their one opportunity a year to not do that...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

MIKITA: ...Especially the Canadians that join us.

EISENBERG: What are you talking about? The Canadians are the big nudies?

MIKITA: They are the most naked of the bunch.

EISENBERG: The most naked - there's naked, and then there's Canadian naked.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing) Oh, Canada, my home and naked land.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Isn't that how it goes?

EISENBERG: Yeah. It's a lot of people walking around with a well-placed maple leaf.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK, so one of our game writers is also a cheesemonger, and so she wrote this music parody about cheese. Whoever wins this will go to the final round. Whoever loses this will have to buy Cheese Nips instead of Cheez-Its.

COULTON: We rewrote cheesy songs to make them about different types of cheese. Please don't write in and complain that I have offended you by calling one of your favorite songs cheesy. Just ring in to identify the cheese that I'm singing about, and if you get that right, you can earn a bonus point by naming the original song's title or the artist who made it famous. Here we go.

(Singing) All my life, I never liked Swiss or bleu, and I thank cows and the Somerset caves. All my life, my burgers get topped with you. You are white, but you're orange sometimes, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dese'Rae.

STAGE: Bleu cheese?

COULTON: I'm sorry. Bleu cheese is incorrect. Rita, do you know the answer?

MIKITA: Cheddar?

COULTON: Cheddar cheese - that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Dese'Rae is offended...

MIKITA: "All My Life?"

COULTON: ...That you're even taking - it is called "All My Life." That's correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Here's your next one.

(Singing) Peel and eat strands of proteins, darling. Can you taste the caprese and the buffalo? Stretch those curds now, please. It's from Italy. Eat it quickly. It is a fresh cheese.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dese'Rae.

STAGE: Mozzarella.

COULTON: Mozzarella - you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For the bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

STAGE: "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Do you ever drink that water that the mozzarella kind of sits in?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: No, I haven't. Have you?

EISENBERG: I'm just saying.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Here's your next one.

(Singing) From Switzerland, used in France, for sure, on onion soup and croque monsieur because you know I'd fly 4,000 miles if I could just age you in caves.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dese'Rae.

STAGE: Provolone. Gruyere.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Sorry, I have to take your first answer. You can't just name a bunch of cheeses.

(LAUGHTER)

STAGE: Sorry.

COULTON: Rita, do you know the answer?

MIKITA: Is it gruyere?

COULTON: It is gruyere.

(APPLAUSE)

STAGE: You're welcome.

COULTON: Can you name the song or artist?

MIKITA: I can sing it. Is it Michelle Branch?

COULTON: It is not Michelle Branch, no. It's Vanessa Carlton, "A Thousand Miles."

MIKITA: Right. It's the other one.

COULTON: Here we go.

(Singing) My rind is blooming from Normandy in wooden boxes. Smaller than brie, issued to French soldiers, I'm soft and smooth as silk. And if you want the real stuff, you won't pasteurize the milk.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Rita.

MIKITA: Camembert.

COULTON: Camembert is the answer.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Can you get the bonus point by naming the song or artist? What? A lot of gasps...

EISENBERG: This is what you sing to the cheese.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt. Here we go.

(Singing) You are nutty and creamy and salty and Dutch. You're the hard cheese that makes my heart beat. I can't eat that wax coating. It's not food as such, but my eyes still smile at this cheese.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Dese'Rae.

STAGE: Gouda.

COULTON: Gouda is right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Oh, yeah. Your whole life has led up to that moment.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's a good cheese. I agree with you. For the bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

STAGE: Ed Sheeran.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right - "Thinking Out Loud."

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This is your last clue about cheese.

(Singing) The waiter grates you into a mountain until my entree's dusted with cheese. Want you to fall on my pasta forever until I say, that's enough for me.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Rita.

MIKITA: Parmesan.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Bonus point if you can name the song or artist...

MIKITA: Savage Garden.

COULTON: Yeah - "Truly Madly Deeply."

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Very, very, very close game. Rita is going to our final round.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.