What a Friend We Have in Cheeses
What a friend we have in cheeses,
Cheddar, Brie, and Camembert!
How they often richly please us,
Cheshire, Gloucester, plus Gruyere!
O what joy with which we savor
Gouda, Stilton, Saint Nectaire!
All because we took to labor
Milk and rennet in our lair!
Have we chills and stark starvation?
Such a friend we have in cheeses,
This hymn in praise of cheese was composed during the mid-19th Century Great Culinary Awakening by Wilhelm Neumeier (1828-1884). The intention was to remind Europeans and Euro-Americans of the vital role played by cheeses in preserving milk as a source of protein during long, cold, hungry winters. Reference is made (2nd stanza) to cheese as a savior of life during the Middle Ages, but also (3rd stanza) to cheese as an enrichment of cuisine during the more prosperous modern era- part of a delightful evening meal with a loved one.
The lyrics were adapted by Joseph Scriven (1820-1886) to praise a less tangible kind of nourishment, specifically the psychological boost provided by the inspiration of long-dead religious leader who went by the name of "Jesus".(printer friendly version)