“Schools should not only instruct, but also, and most of all, educate.” – Mario Lodi “

Audio English:


Filastrocca dei mestieri  

Mario Lodi  

C’è chi semina la terra,
c’è chi impara a far la guerra,
chi ripara le auto guaste,
e chi sforna gnocchi e paste.
C’è chi vende l’acqua e il vino,
chi ripara il lavandino,
c’è chi pesca nel torrente
e magari prende niente.
C’è chi guida il treno diretto
e chi a casa rifà il letto,
chi nel circo fa capriole
e chi insegna nelle scuole.
C’è chi recita, chi balla
e chi scopa nella stalla.
Così varia è questa vita
che la storia è mai finita.
Ma la vita finirà,
se il lavoro cesserà.
Workers’ rhyme  

Mario Lodi  

Some people sow the land
some learn to wage war on man,
some fix broken cars for others,
some make pasta in ovens.
Some sell water and drinks,
some fix bad pipes and sinks,
some catch fish in the stream,
some don’t catch anything.
Some people drive fast trains,
some clean and tidy homes,
some in the circus do flips,
and some in school teach kids.
Some people dance and perform
and some sweep up the barn.
So varied this life can be,
there’s no end to history.
But life will surely stop
if workers came to a halt.  

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2021

Mario Lodi was born in Piadena, in 1922 . He was a teacher, scholar and writer. Already as a student he opposed the fascists and war. It would mark his work as a teacher and his drive for a democratic society.

He was imprisoned during the war for political reasons and in 1945, after the liberation of Italy, he became active in student groups for national independence. He started by creating a newspaper that was accessible  to everyone, theatre productions and exhibitions of local crafts, and also a vocational school run by volunteer teachers.

In 1948 he became a teacher in San Giovanni in Croce; his work with children greatly influenced him and he started to develop, study, and write about teaching methods that would help children to express themselves through writing, painting, and dance, etc..

Photo: my grade 1 class…and the lovely Miss Bizaire: I was lucky enough to have teachers who made my school years wonderful. I will be forever grateful.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “Mario Lodi: Filastrocca dei mestieri/ Worker’s rhyme

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