The Search Is On For The National Anthem Of Cheddar

It’s official: we Brits have got WAY too much time on our hands.

A new competition has been launched, in support of British cheese (which is, to be fair, among the best of all cheeses), in which people are invited to create an alternate lyric for the songs “God Save The Queen” (or, as you know it better, “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee”), “Land of Hope and Glory” or “Jerusalem,” in order to create – and I’m using their term here, not mine – a national anthem for Cheddar cheese.

Let’s just pause a moment to let that sink in. A national. Anthem. For CHEDDAR.

Ready? OK, let’s press on.

The British Cheese Board launched the competition with their own effort, starring Vivace, a choir from Sussex. It’s the reworded “Jerusalem,” which, let’s be honest, takes something sublime and makes it ridiculous.

(Note: if you have an allergic reaction to commercially-enforced whimsy, probably best to take a pill or two before playing)

So all you have to do to win is come up with something of equal standard to that – or who knows, even better – and then gather support for a public vote once your creation hits the internet.

BCB secretary Nigel White told BBC News that they were inspired by the Olympics to celebrate one of the nation’s best-loved exports: “Britain may produce over 700 named cheeses, but there’s no doubt that Cheddar is by far and away the nation’s favorite.

“In this year of celebrating all things British, the BCB is proud to be highlighting the amazing variety and popularity of British Cheddars and joining with UK cheese lovers to find a fitting anthem to this national treasure.”

And of course the winning lyricist will receive a year’s supply of Cheddar, so it really isn’t just a silly marketing idea. They’ve even roped in a celebrity cheesemaker, in the shape of Alex James, the Blur bassist. He said: “It’s important to be buying British right now, and Cheddar truly represents the best of British cheese as it was invented right here in the UK.

“This is a fun way to support British Cheddar and combine two of the best things in life – music and cheese.”

Who knew that supporting one of the world’s most popular cheeses could have become so arduous that it requires en-fun-ificating? Not me!

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2. He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage. Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
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