What the hell does that mean, “the cheese stands alone”?? Yes, I know from whence it comes. Liam and I were reading in one of his storybooks the other evening – one containing a plethora of old sayings, fairy tales and traditional kid’s songs – and we came across the lyrics to “The Farmer in the Dell”.
The first order of business was to illuminate Liam’s curiosity as to what exactly constitutes a “dell“. (He was a tad confused because he recognized “Dell” as the word on his teacher’s computer, and was uncertain what the farmer would be doing in there…let alone his wife, child, nurse, cat, mouse et al.) Then he wisely asked how the farmer could grow anything if a dell was generally covered with trees. (I must admit, that one had me stumped for a minute…but then I supposed that this farmer was initially a lumberjack who had decided to change professions, hence clearing the dell for planting and sowing would be a breeze for him.) Once that was cleared up, we began our systematic deconstruction of the overall lyrical concept. Everything else made sense…farmer takes wife, wife takes child, child takes nurse, etc. But why is the cheese standing alone?
Is it Limburger cheese? Does it emit a stench so foul, so rank that no self respecting foodstuff would deign to occupy the same plate with this cheese? Was it mean cheese – disdainful of any food group other than dairy? Was it Swiss cheese – so “holy” that it had taken a vow of silence and thus could never make any friends? Why, WHY was this poor, pitiful, lonely cheese all by itself in a great big cupboard???
We surmised that the fault MUST lie with the High Ho. ( Afterall, streetwalkers on crack are not generally known for care taken in the proper storage of cheesy comestibles…)
Liam summarily decreed the song ridiculous, and I had to concur. We decided that when it comes to cheese, there is only one trustworth source…so we tossed the book and watched some Monty Python.