Ode on the Mammoth Cheese (SATB / SAB / SSA + piano)

Ode on the Mammoth Cheese (SATB / SAB / SSA + piano)


ca. 6:00

Text by James McIntyre

Order Licensed PDF scores

Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds composed for the University of Toronto Schools choir, and premiered in April 2010.

Duration: ca. 6:00

SATB, SAB or SSA choir + piano

Text by James McIntyre

We have seen thee, queen of cheese,

Lying quietly at your ease,

Gently fanned by evening breeze,

Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

All gaily dressed soon you'll go

To the great Provincial show,

To be admired by many a beau

In the city of Toronto.

Cows numerous as a swarm of bees,

Or as the leaves upon the trees,

It did require to make thee please.

And stand unrivalled, queen of cheese.

May you not receive a scar as

We have heard that Mr. Harris

Intends to send you off as far as

The great world's show at Paris.

Of the youth beware of these,

For some of them might rudely squeeze

And bite your cheek, then songs or glees

We could not sing, oh! queen of cheese.

We'rt thou suspended from balloon,

You'd cast a shade even at noon,

Folks would think it was the moon

About to fall and crush them soon.

Please specify which voicing you would like to order:

SATB + piano

SAB + piano

SSA + piano

Other voicings are available upon request.

Minimum 10 copies. Please purchase 1 copy for each singer in your choir.

Your honesty is appreciated! This is (part of) how composers make their living.

Alex Eddington will email you a licensed PDF file within 3 business days.


Program Notes

James McIntyre (1828-1906) – sometimes known as the “cheese poet” – was a Scottish immigrant to Canada who settled in Ingersoll, Ontario. Inspired by the landscape and the industry of the region, he wrote poetical oratory for many local occasions and published two volumes of poetry during his lifetime. His masterpiece is considered to be Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds, written in honour of a prize-winning cheese wheel made in Ingersoll in 1866, and sent to exhibitions in Toronto and abroad. 

The poem’s hyberbolic imagery demands a musical setting that takes its meanderings seriously. This cheese is as dangerous as it is magnificent, and it may crush us one day.

Ode on the Mammoth Cheese was composed for the student choir at the University of Toronto Schools, a Grade 7-12 school in downtown Toronto.

- Alex Eddington