Talking beef with Dario Sgrò, Musiker, Rome (Italy)

«I like the image of cows in the green pasture.»

Dario, you wrote the song «Caterina, la mucca canterina» (Caterina, the singing cow), which we were allowed to print in the Italian version of our children’s booklet. How did this song come about?

The idea came from my friend and co-author Domenico Calandra, who runs a farm in Tuscany. The theme was so funny and I liked it a lot, so a song came out of it.

Is there really a cow Caterina?

Yes and no. The song is about the ‘brown alpine cow‘ called Caterina, but actually it is dedicated to all cows.

Dario Sgrò loves animations and comics. His children’s songs can be seen on Youtube as picture stories. The fact that Caterina is black and white in the picture story and brown in the song shows that the song ‘‘Caterina, la mucca canterina‘‘ is dedicated to all cows irrespective of breed. (Image: dariomusicman)

Do you like cows? 

Yes I like them a lot, I find them beautiful in their simplicity and calmness. I like the image of cows in the green pasture.

Do you have a connection to agriculture?

It has been with me my entire life. I grew up with the image of my grandfather tending to the vegetable garden and producing endless salads, tomatoes and vegetables of all kinds – simply wonderful!

Have you written other songs about cows or life on the farm?

Yes, of course. Again, together with my friend and co-author Domenico Calandra, we wrote «fattoria band», where all farm animals make music together; and the song «nonno aldo» is dedicated to a grandfather on a farm.

Do you like meat?

Yes, but I don’t eat a lot of it. For me, animals should be completely free and not eaten. The earth gives us so many other things to eat. As an omnivore, I do eat some meat and fish, but I prefer vegetables, pulses and fruit. But what’s most important for me is proper appreciation of the value of foodstuffs. I find it ridiculous how much good food is thrown away every day. 

For Dario, sustainable production and appreciation of the value of foodstuffs is important. He would like to treat animals with respect. In his eyes, suckler cow husbandry on the pasture comes closest to species-appropriate and natural livestock farming. (Photo: Larissa Dubach)

What kind of music do you like best? 

I like variety and make different kinds of music, but mostly for children. With children’s music, you can express yourself more freely, even in the commercial field. It lets me raise awareness of important themes in a light-hearted way. 

Do you have a favourite song  – either among the songs you have composed or in general? 

I really like some of my own songs, including those that are still in the drawer and have not been published. Among the songs already published, «Le Matite colorate» ( The Coloured Pencils) is one of my favourites. It’s one of the first songs I wrote. There are many pieces by other people that I like – everything from pop to rock to soundtrack. If I had to name two songs that I really like, I’d go for Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and Yesterday by the Beatles.

Where do you find the inspiration for your songs?

From everyday experiences and incidents at school, in the park, on the street, while watching TV or reading...

What do you like about your work? Do you have a mission? 

Music, and therefore my work, is my passion. I sometimes feel as though I’m not really working at all. I think it’s important for everyone in life to do what they’re really good at. You should follow your talents. 

For want of real cows in Rome, Dario Sgrò made himself a quick portrait with a cow. (Image: dariomusicman))

Have you ever been to Switzerland? 

I had an uncle in French-speaking Switzerland, so I was there a few times as a child. I have visited Berne, Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Locarno, Lugano and many other places, partly professionally and partly for vacation. This summer I was in Montreux to make music. Switzerland is wonderful!

Dario, thanks for the interview and for letting us print your song «Caterina, la mucca canterina »  in the booklet ’’Lea und Ben auf der Alp’’ (Lea and Ben on the Alp)!

(Photo: provided)
(Photo: provided)

Dario Sgrò, 43, is a musician and lives in Rome. He loves the countryside, nature, fresh air, freedom, feelings and truth. Dario likes cinema, a sense of humour and well-told stories that make you dream, think and understand.

Dario Sgrò works on a variety of music types. He writes and plays music and songs for children‘s TV (cartoon theme songs, children’s TV programmes, etc.), and gives music lessons (theory, piano, guitar), does productions, arrangements, and transcriptions, and sings and plays in live shows.

More from Dario Sgrò: dariomusicman.