Queso-ra Sera

Nov 22, 2019

Inspired by San Antonio's queso connection, Ask Me Another's house musician Jonathan Coulton performs another music parody about cheese.

Heard on Robert Earl Keen: Texas Troubadour.

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

JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER, coming to you from San Antonio. 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 Leah and Ali. This is a music parody game about cheese. It's going to be a Gouda time, or as the Dutch would say, a Gouda time. Let's check with our contestants. Leah, so you and your roommate really love karaoke.

LEAH GONZALES: Yes.

EISENBERG: You bought a karaoke machine for your house.

GONZALES: Well, we bought two karaoke mics for our house.

EISENBERG: Two karaoke mics...

GONZALES: Right.

EISENBERG: ...That you plug into nothing.

GONZALES: Correct.

(LAUGHTER)

GONZALES: They have their own speakers so they are self-amplifying (laughter).

EISENBERG: Sure they are.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK, Ali, you're a big crafter.

ALI FORAN: I am.

EISENBERG: You made all your friends with babies crocheted stuffed animals.

FORAN: I do.

EISENBERG: What are your best ones?

FORAN: So I made a flamingo, and the feathers were really cool 'cause they, like, flowed off of the flamingo. I made a sloth. Like, I don't know. I've made a lot of animals.

EISENBERG: What was the last one? I'm sorry.

FORAN: A sloth.

EISENBERG: A sloth.

FORAN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: You made a sloth.

FORAN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: It's adorable, right?

FORAN: It was, like, Mom's favorite animal, so.

EISENBERG: It was the mom's favorite animal.

FORAN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: I like slow things, yeah.

FORAN: Yes.

EISENBERG: Oh, you're going to hate a toddler.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Very good. So this music parody game is called Queso-ra Sera.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Depending on who you talk to, the U.S. queso craze started right here in San Antonio.

(CHEERING)

COULTON: Queso is the Spanish word for cheese. I don't know if you guys knew that.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: So naturally, we took songs with Spanish words in the title and rewrote them to be about different types of cheese. Is this cultural appropriation? We'll find out.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Ring in and tell me what cheese I'm singing about. And if you get that right, for a bonus point, you can name the original song or the artist who made it famous.

EISENBERG: Now regular listeners might notice that this is the second time we have had Jonathan sing about cheese. This is what happens when all of your game writers are also cheesemongers. So there's a tie. Whoever wins this will go to our final round and whoever loses will win a vegan cheese plate.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: Don't cheer for that.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Here we go.

COULTON: (Singing) Some people think it's bold, veiny cheese with a stinky mold. So now at dinner I eat alone, Gorgonzola on my own.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ali.

FORAN: Blue cheese.

COULTON: Blue cheese is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

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

FORAN: Yeah, that was Coldplay.

COULTON: It sure was.

(CHEERING)

COULTON: "Viva La Vida."

(Singing) Last night, I dreamed of a bagel with lox and capers on my breakfast bun, a schmear of this dairy concoction. You can throw some scallions in; it's not a sin. Just don't eat the strawberry-flavored version of this cheese, especially with salmon, please, 'cause that sounds gross to me.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Leah.

GONZALES: Cream cheese.

COULTON: Cream cheese - you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

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

GONZALES: No.

COULTON: No, can't name it?

GONZALES: Sorry.

EISENBERG: Whoa.

COULTON: That was Madonna, who's a musical artist.

EISENBERG: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: "Isla Bonita" was that song.

EISENBERG: By the way, Philadelphia cream cheese, which many people enjoy - guess where that's from - New York.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Here we go. (Singing) French soft cheese, I want to eat you. You've got a rind that I can eat, too. My oven's heating. I know you would agree. I could eat this whole wheel if I just bake it in puff, puff pastry.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ali.

FORAN: Brie.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(CHEERING)

COULTON: For a bonus point, song or artist.

FORAN: "Senorita" by Justin Timberlake.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(CHEERING)

COULTON: (Singing) Named for where, we'll start with cheddar, and we take out all its flair. White or orange, kind of boring perfect square in an envelope of plastic you must tear. Melt so even, you believe in processed cheese.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ali.

FORAN: Kraft Singles slices.

COULTON: Yeah, I was going to say, can you be less specific?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: We're just looking for American, but absolutely, yeah. Kraft Singles - that's my jam.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(LAUGHING)

EISENBERG: It's like a toy cheese.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Yeah.

FORAN: Is it cheese?

EISENBERG: No. No, it's not cheese. That's a cheese product.

COULTON: It's a pasteurized processed cheese product.

EISENBERG: Beautiful edges, beautiful edges.

COULTON: It's - when it comes in those plastic envelopes, it actually takes the shape of the envelope. It's a really...

EISENBERG: I know.

FORAN: (Laughter).

COULTON: It's like it wasn't even solid when they put it in there. I don't know how they do it.

EISENBERG: Actually, you know, officially, processed cheese is defined as the food prepared by mixing with the aid of heat one or more cheeses of the same or two or more varieties in a homogeneous plastic mass. Why don't they put that on the package?

COULTON: Yeah, I can't imagine.

EISENBERG: Homogeneous plastic mass.

COULTON: I can't imagine. Ali, there's a bonus point for you if you can name the song or artist.

FORAN: "Bailamos."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(CHEERING)

COULTON: Enrique Iglesias.

(Singing) I like to call it chevre. More fun to call it chevre - makes me feel fancy while I'm eating beet salad. I keep eating beet salad 'cause I don't know what else to do with this chevre.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Leah.

GONZALES: Goat cheese.

COULTON: Goat cheese - yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Can you name the song or artist?

GONZALES: Yes.

COULTON: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

GONZALES: "La Bamba."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right - Ritchie Valens.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This is your last song. (Singing) There's a layered, saucy pasta to be prepared. Lots of dairy vegans beware the soft and creamy cheese curds in every layer. We're making lasagna - making lasagna.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ali.

FORAN: Ricotta.

COULTON: Ricotta.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: That's right. For a bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

FORAN: "Viva Las Vegas."

COULTON: Yeah, Elvis Presley, that's right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: "Always On My Mind" - also about cheese - little-known fact. OK, Ali pulled it out and is moving to our final round.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.