The Cheese Opera

22 Apr 2017, 9:52 p.m.

My first blog was active from 2003-2013 and, while most of it was memes about which style of coffee I was or apologies for not posting often enough, some of what I wrote there was actually, I still think, pretty good. Some of it was ridiculous tosh, but that's what I like; in that spirit, here's a repost from January 2011.

My brain has taken up an old hobby, that of mishearing the lyrics of German industrial songs so that they become about cheese. The latest victim is "Eiszeit" by Eisbrecher (video / German lyrics / English translation), which all of a sudden I can only hear as:

Darf ich leben ohne Käse? — Nein, dass darfst du nicht! [1]

This has reminded me of a previous mangling of "Mein Herz Brennt" by Rammstein (song / lyrics in German and English), but now I know how to elaborate on it. In fact, I've had a brilliant idea.

A musical!

Imagine: a darkened stage, indistinct shapes arranged across it, draped with dim billows of cloth. It's a cold and forbidding landscape, much like one of the Caspar David Friedrich paintings below. A drear and portentous note rises up, followed by another.

Seashore by Moonlight (1835–36).

The Abbey in the Oakwood (1808–10).

You see that the lights are slowly rising, picking out grey highlights on the monumental set. Six figures, men, become visible amidst the wreckage. They stand silently with their hooded heads down as a voice starts to sing:

Nun, kleine Kinder, gebt fein acht.
Ich bin die Stimme aus der Käse ... [2]

As one, the men straighten up and raise their heads. Their hoods fall back to show the audience the gleam in their eyes. They are wearing leather jerkins and kilts, and harsh, distant expressions like sullen birds of prey. The singing continues.

Ich hab' euch etwas mitgebracht ... [3]

The lights suddenly go up like a firestorm! The landscape is lit in yellowish hues and rolling green hills are revealed on the backdrop.

Es ist Käse! [4]

— chortles the singer, his voice transformed into that of your favourite uncle. Rammstein (for it is they) jump down to the edge of the stage, each whipping out from a concealed cubbyhole an usherette's tray that he slings around his neck. On the trays is an array of German regional cheeses and pickles. Rammstein spend the next twenty minutes offering free cheese samples to the audience and explaining the provenance and characteristics of each type like experts.

I'm sure I could spin this out for at least an hour and a half, and I'm equally certain it would be a huge hit. Unfortunately, it's completely and utterly non-vegan, so somebody else will have to do it and reap the rewards. [5]

1. May I live without cheese? — No, you may not!
2. Now, dear children, pay close attention. I am the voice from the cheese.
3. I have brought you something ...
4. It's cheese!
5. Note from the author, April 2017: I am currently not vegan. There is no longer anything stopping me from bringing this production to life!