Roberto Vecchioni

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Roberto Vecchioni

Roberto Vecchioni (C.E.1943 – living), Italian singer-songwriter and writer.

Quotes by Roberto Vecchioni:

  • There are normalities, rules, harmonies that you don't even notice, it's obvious that they are there. [...] It is the exception, the upheaval of the usual that makes you anxious, gets on your nerves, unravels your soul. (from The bookseller of Selinunte, Einaudi, Turin, 2004)
  • Do you think I'm just here to fiddle? Absolutely no. I arrive from the airport, I enter the city and there are practically 400 people out of 200 without helmets and in all places there are three rows of cars in the middle of the road and it is difficult to pass. This means that you have not understood what the meaning of existence with others is. You don't know, you don't know. There's no point in hiding behind the fact that you have the most beautiful sea in the world. That's not enough, you're an island of shit. I don't love Sicily which ruins its intelligence and its culture, which when I go to see Selinunte, Segesta there is no one there. I don't love this Sicily that is thrown away.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag
  • Template:Again[1]
  • And perhaps I dreamed that all humanity resembled Sicily. As an old romantic, deluded professor of ancient Greek, but life is not like that today. Life is that if you say shit that means I love you, they don't understand you and above all the pusillanimous ones and the mafiosi don't understand you.[2]
  • I have Sicilian grandparents from Messina. Ten years ago I said to myself: now I'm going to see my Sicily. And I was moved by the sea, Selinunte, the mountain of Segesta, the immense sunny plains, the baroque, the Arabic. I returned to the hotel in the evening and squinted with emotion. And then I went down to the beaches and saw them degraded by dilapidated hotels, tourism that didn't have the slightest idea of ​​those natural paradises.[2]
  • The musical group is Yorum. It doesn't matter if they were good or not. They were singing a type of civil protest whose tones weren't even that bright, because if they had exaggerated, there in Turkey, perhaps they would have died sooner. They sang words that we are used to hearing from De Gregori, Guccini, even Celentano. They talked about dreams and the desire to live together, they talked about equality, brotherhood, stuff that with the exception of CasaPound, even our right pretends to believe. […] These three guys went on hunger strike for months and months, because without the soul of the body they couldn't care less. No one from the great West showed up. […] The last, Ibrahim Gökçek, died saying "they had left us only our bodies to fight".[3]
  • The bookseller read the words without imposing them on listening, because the words are not born, were not born in that author, to favor, capture, indulge, maneuver the emotions of the public at will, cramming them into the cage of a single feel. The bookseller returned the words to themselves. (from The bookseller of Selinunte)
  • [On the phrases pronounced a few days earlier on Sicily] Mine were not phrases said with hatred, they did not contain any feeling of racism, I spoke out of love: things must be said , there is no point in hiding behind alibis, behind an amazing sea. Here there really is intelligence, culture and beauty at the highest levels, but as soon as I got off the plane I found myself trapped in infernal traffic, in incredible chaos. I felt anger. [4]
  • The Inter is spirituality, it is a way of living, of being. An extraordinary historical adventure: defeats, Pyrrhic victories, randomness, it's always a village Saturday. The Inter player is genetically programmed to defeat, we don't know how to manage victory.[5]
  • Many are born poor, many are beautiful, strong, loyal; few (and yet there are) know how to create the field themselves and then score, but only he, Adriano, is a force of nature, "that" force of nature.[6]
  • It is never possible that the most beautiful nature in the world is left to chance and culture, the highest intelligence in the world dissolves into laziness, lack of respect for others, disorder, despondency: a culture as immense as that Sicilian deserves a civilization that is on its equals. And here's the point: Sicily is a shitty island if it doesn't rebel. Not Sicily is an island of shit. He is if he doesn't rebel. From this profession of love the media have extrapolated only the most squalid point of hatred.[2]
  • [On Fabrizio De André] This is the point: he was the only poet of songwriting. The others, myself included, with the exception perhaps of Guccini, are good, not poets. And his lyrics are the only ones that hold up even without music. [...] It is absolutely not for everyone. His was a cultural elitism. He had the body and mind of a poet. He didn't need to put himself in an ivory tower: he was born in that tower.[7]
  • I wouldn't write Samarkand today. I don't believe in destiny at all, I believe in human will and freedom.[8]


  • The Italian, will soon be the most beautiful of the dead languages.
  • All this sea of ​​song of art needs not only the spectacular moment (stage, exhibition, reproduction) but also codification, interpretation, exegetical insertion into culture.
  • The Italian of the past runs the risk of becoming an aesthetic object that quickly runs out when approaching reality.
  • Words are not breath, evanescence, convention. Words are "things". Nothing exists if it has no name, because we are the ones who make the world exist.
  • Words are things in constant dramatic transformation and a mirror of our struggle in search of light.


  • In this song Template:NDR we talk about universal love, for all things and for creation.
  • Young people must fight for culture.
  • I believe that everything that happens in the world, even what seems apparently inexplicable, is a millimeter of God's yardstick.
  • I feel God inside me very strongly. I would say that apart from some skirmishes today I am in a good moment with Him.
  • I believe that God works behind the scenes, never impeding the freedom of human beings, never forcing anyone to do things against their will.
  • faith does not make us waterproof, but it is a good shield, a good help.
  • True faith is that which knows doubt, which seeks answers.
  • I have studded my life, my publications, my records, with words addressed to God, with doubts, as can be seen in songs like "Blu moon", "What kind of God is there in the sky"," Tommy."
  • I believe that beyond everything there is a wonderful plan in life that we almost never understand, because we usually consider the carpet on the side of the knots, not on the right side.


  • There is no desire to be first in the world, to excel in the arts as well as in science and technology.
  • Today we discovered technology. But are we the masters or his servants?
  • This must give the school: the meaning, the meaning. Not only Humanism, that is, being used or simply helped by science, but also Humanism, that is, understanding the meaning, having the purpose.
  • We need to start over and do school, do it hard, with exams in September, meritocracy.
  • Boys have to work hard. Just pet them, kick their ass from an early age.
  • Making sacrifices is a great key word.
  • I am Catholic, but as a boy going to Mass, in my opinion, was a waste of time. Then I realized that this was the place.
  • If your child comes home and says they are upset, don't believe them, there are no teachers who upset them.
  • I would ask the school first of all to teach what is beautiful, to spread harmony, to explain the meaning of values.
  • [You go to school] To become a person.


  • The Gaber of the end of the Seventies knows two essential things. One: artistic life should not be thrown away. Two: the song isn't just something you sing in three minutes. It must enter into a discourse, into a dialogue that takes on even more live. Gaber understood that the song is not just an object to be sold, and since it brings people into people's homes it should be experienced together with these people. In a suitable place. And from these assumptions comes the bringing of the song to theatre, his greatest discovery. [...] Giorgio gives lightning importance to the words and concepts that he expresses with them. The music, although spot on, almost only dresses them up. What matters is the word, which becomes magical the moment fifteen hundred people are united in a theater listening to it.
  • For Gaber "reality is further ahead". It starts from contradictions, from internal contradictions that no one, or almost no one, usually underlines. His testimony therefore becomes first self-criticism, and then criticism of society. A much broader denunciation is made, and in fact Gaber will be able to continue it into the Eighties and Nineties. Moreover, the idea - fundamental even today - that we "believe" we are free while in fact we are "farmed chickens", could not have come from the political song à la Guccini nor from the anger of a Vasco. It could only come to an intellectual of song like Giorgio. The second pillar of the intellectualism of Italian song. The other is Fabrizio De André, who however made a more abstract argument. Gaber, on the other hand, specialized in reality, towards which he was ferocious, but never nihilist.
  • The true songwriter song is a synthesis of existence, said in an overall simple way. Because although some songs seem convoluted and difficult, two readings are always enough to understand them. Furthermore, the true songwriting does not want to propagate absolute truths, but paths, yes.
  • Gaber was simple and clear, he didn't shout truth but proposed ways. Also reporting the importance of pain, the need in life to overcome difficult trials. All things that the novels give us, and yet in a more direct way today they come to us precisely from the songs of the author. The quickest way to enter the contemporary. Which has always been Giorgio Gaber's aim: to sing the illogical joy of living reality.

Quotes from songs:




Etichetta: Ducale, C.E.1971

  • Lights at San Siro that evening | what's strange we've all been there, | do you remember the game in the fog? (from Luci a San Siro)
  • My Milan take me away, it's so cold, | I'm disgusted and I can't take it anymore, | let's make a change, take it | that little bit of money that little bit of celebrity | but give me back my six hundred, | my twenties and a girl you know | Milan sorry I was joking, | they won't turn on any more lights at San Siro. (from Luci a San Siro)
  • How nice to have two talents, you only have to give back twenty; you just try to get a hundred and God is on your toes with the bill. (from Through the Eye of a Needle)

End of season sales:


Etichetta: Ducale, C.E.1972.

  • He who has won is there who vomits his wine | and what ultimately matters is the intestine. (from Aiace)
  • And you take out half the camp, hundreds and hundreds of heads fly apart, only to take an inventory and then see that they are not your judges, they are oxen. (from Ajax)



Label: Philips, C.E.1975.

  • And Marco Polo cheated them: | doge, wife, turkish, ideas, | he left Chioggia and arrived | no further down than Bari, | no further down than Bari, | then he said "I saw magical orientations", | but at least he had had some imagination; | the Venetians applauding | only envy and hypocrisy. (from Song for Laura)
  • The poets are old gentlemen | that eat the stars | lying on the meadows | of their villas, | and they invent gypsies and blackberries | to make oneself credible in the eyes of the world | with their pain. (from The Poets)



Label: Philips, C.E.1976.

  • Anger once marked her | only the locomotive | thrown a stone on the road; | now it's market day | poets emerge in clusters | all the islands have found. (from Song for Francesco, n. 2, Side B)



Label: Philips, C.E.1977.

  • And they shot the singer-songwriter Francesco De Gregori | on a night of youth, | they shot him out of love, | so he doesn't sing anymore. | They shot him because he was handsome | remember it as it was before | alternative, self-reduced | outside the system's perspective. (from Vaudeville (Last Cannibal World), n. 3, Side A)
  • There I also met an old bard, Homer who blinded himself to stay in the dream. (from The Last Show, n. 3, Side B)
  • But you didn't talk to me | and my ideas like lizards | they withdrew their heads | inside the wall, when it's late | because it is cold, because it is dark: | and a thousand solitudes | and the holes to hide... (from The Last Show, n. 3, Side B)

Calabuig, strangelove and other incidents:


Label: Philips, C.E.1978.

  • And the dawn on the Danube seemed to Marco to be phosphorus and honey | and a blonde girl perhaps wanted to tell him | that man is great, man is alive, man is not war | but the generals reply that man is wine he fights well and dies better only when he is full. (from Stranamore (this too is love), Side A, nº 1)
  • And the greatest conquered nation after nation | and when he was in front of the sea he felt like an idiot | because nothing further could be conquered | and a long way to see a desperate sun | and always the same and always as when he left . (from Stranamore (this too is love), Side A, nº 1)

Monte Cristo:


Label: Philips, C.E.1980.

  • This time I'm really leaving | with a light wind | blowing behind me. | You sleep your sleep well | they know where I'm going | only the stars. (from The City Without Women)

Robinson, how to save your life:

  • But as long as I sing I have you in front of me, the years are just moments, you have always been here in front of me. (from I miss you)


  • Everything you cry is not love. (from Euridice)

The sky upside down:

  • And he built a delirious universe without love, where all things are tired of existing and gaping pain. (from The Love Letters)
  • But it escaped him that the sense of the stars is not that of a man, and he saw himself again in the pain of that useless shining, that distant shining... . (from The Love Letters)

The tired bandolero:

  • Don't leave me alone this night when I can't see the sky, come back bandolero. (from El Bandolero Tired)
  • In this night sown with clouds that not a light trembles, every question is the answer to a question of the first answer; every return is a false start, the illusion of a movement, like this bath of tears that I have not cried. (from Night song (of a wandering shepherd of the air))

Dream boy dream:


Etichetta: Emi, C.E.1999.

  • And they will tell you words as red as blood | black as night | But it's not true, boy, | that reason is always with the stronger | I know poets | who move rivers with their thoughts | and infinite sailors | who know how to speak to the sky. (from Dream boy dream, n. 1)
  • Close your eyes boy | and only believe what you see inside. | Clench your fists, boy | don't let him win even for a moment | cover the love, boy, | but don't hide it under your cloak | sometimes someone passes by, | sometimes there is someone who has to see it. (from Dream boy dream, n. 1)
  • Dream, boy dream | don't change a line of your song, | do not leave a train stopped at the station, | don't stop yourself... (from Dream boy dream, n. 1)
  • Let them tell the world | that people like you will always lose. | Because you already won I swear, | they can't do anything to you anymore. | Pass your hand every now and then | on a woman's face, run your fingers through it | no kingdom is greater | of this little thing that is life. (from Dream boy dream, n. 1)
  • And life is so strong | that passes through walls to be seen. | Life is so real | that it seems impossible to have to leave it. | Life is so big | that when you are about to die, | you will plant an olive tree | still convinced to see it flourish. (from Dream boy dream, n. 1)
  • Because I will fight for you with an army of plumbers, condominium owners, dentists, pain in the ass and shopkeepers. I will cover myself with the wounds of boredom, the ones that no one sees and that never bleed. (from Portrait of a Lady in Pink Satin, n. 9)
  • [...] it is more difficult for you to move your existence a little lower than the sky and become a man. (from Portrait of a Lady in Pink Satin, n. 9)
  • In here pain is a usual guest, but the love that is missing is the love that hurts. (from Song for Alda Merini, n. 4)
  • Because even nothing is enough to be happy, it is enough to live like the things you say, and share in all the loves you have so as not to lose yourself, lose yourself, never lose yourself. (from Song for Alda Merini, n. 4)

In Cantus:


Label: Universal Music, C.E.2009.

  • If I went back I would spend this life with you, I would dance it and not waste it on great ideas, I would only relive the moments of wind with you, I would love it with you as I have never loved it. (from If I could go back)

Call me again love:


Label: Universal Music, C.E.2011.

  • And for all the boys and girls | who defend a book, a real book, | so beautiful to shout in the squares | because they are killing our thoughts. (from Call me again love, n. 1)
  • Why ideas are like butterflies | that you cannot take away its wings, | because ideas are like stars | that storms don't turn them off, | because ideas are mother's voices | that we thought we had lost, | and they are like the smile of God | in this spit of a universe. (from Call me again love, n. 1)

Check God:

  • It almost seems like they do it to spite me: when they reach a certain point it's as if they turn off the star that guides them, as if they engrave another life line on their hand. No, I'm not talking about sins, those are minutiae: I'm talking about their path, the course of their destiny. They have a path to follow, a journey to make and suddenly they cancel it, they reset it, they want to be other than themselves; they wrinkle their souls until they become unrecognizable, they rebel against happiness.
  • We are as we are, and our freedom is "earthly nourishment".
  • What we consider unfair is only our offended self-love.
  • God is the favorite pastime of our mediocrity: a personality that makes up for the one we don't have.
  • There are no tragedies to cry over, man is ridiculous from birth, life in itself has no meaning, and it only becomes true when he imitates art.
  • There is someone who would bleed words to be heard, even just for a second, but you can't.
  • Today being understandable is equivalent to being discovered.
  • God, if something happened to me to take away this fear of being in the world.
  • Men are always inferior to their ideas.
  • Is the actor a fake man who says real things with fake words or a real man who says fake things with real words?
  • Now I see that words act in an unpredictable way, and that you shouldn't believe what you see.
  • What was evil? What was good? He wondered, Kyd, and decided not to decide.
  • He laughed at the Gospels, Bibles and Korans, as if at lies born of cowardice and human impotence, and for the same reason he could not stand men, masses of mediocrities, broken pieces of a glass window that never existed, gusts of wind without direction, credulous , losers, pathetic to the point of getting together to be able to shout at someone: only great minds deserved great passions, only great players deserved the world.
  • Cold, almost metallic, magical and horrifying at the same time, slow to pronounce, as if the words were jewels of dark brilliance.
  • Cut it out. I'm tired of who I was, not who I will be. Of who I already am, in truth, because among all beings in nature only men are able to change, erase and rewrite: we have a choice, an escape route.
  • Sometimes life takes the form of a dream and you have to start all over again like a newborn baby amazed and in disbelief at not finding its mother's breast.
  • It is a story of love and art, but above all of destinies, of paths intertwined by the sky, which at a certain point we no longer recognize and do not want to follow, because if man is not master of the universe, as he says Bruno, however, is always his own master.
  • He stopped nostalgia, put it on the wall and stuck it in his heart forever as a way of life.
  • Men sing when words aren't enough, when they can't say them, perhaps because on their own they would even be ridiculous.
  • It is an irreducible wait without the slightest idea of ​​hope, it is a stubbornness of the heart that does not want to surrender to the line of destiny.
  • It means that "non-freedom" is freedom.
  • And among all these thoughts, a deep melancholy of something that not even he knew what it was came to his mind and ran through his heart, something lost or never grasped, a shadow deep down in his soul, a confused trait of human instability, of the condemnation to find happiness to never be happy.
  • I write to get out, to escape from these infinite, useless stories of nothing that are the trials, the wars, the expeditions, the conquests, even the gods: millions of grains of Syriac sand that a wave is enough to sweep them away.
  • We live by whispers and not by screams.
  • I stand there, stupid with broken dreams.
  • Past. The flight of doves has darkened the clouds, the word given is a breath, it has blended with the sky, it has mixed with the earth, it keeps the worms company.
  • I found some breath again, my breath: now I can read myself, as if in a mirror. I contemplate my face, my misery. Enough. Enough. How many times have I told myself this? How many times have I gone back?
  • Away, away, other roads, other seas, a different sky of unknown stars: so that even the stars do not know me, do not know who I am.
  • You write because you don't live: it is an excuse, a defense, a surrender.
  • I don't cry, I don't know how to cry, I never learned to do it. I don't know emotion, only regret and yearning: I know annoyance and boredom, absence and rejection. I have a lump in my throat, here, now, but I don't even try to shed tears, because if I had to do it once I wouldn't stop for all the days I have left.
  • It was like apologizing, to you, but also to me.
  • If we are armed and trained, we are able to convince men that we too have hands, feet and a heart like theirs and that even if we are delicate and tender, there are delicate men who can be strong and vulgar and violent men who they are cowards. Women have not yet understood that they should behave like this, in this way they would be able to fight to the death and to demonstrate that this is true, I will be the first to act, setting myself up as a model. (Veronica Franco)
  • It seems impossible to you men, because you cannot read inside it. But we don't have yesterday and tomorrow, we only have the moment that remains and doesn't pass, what has been doesn't count, what will be doesn't exist: every fragment, every day is a part of itself: every day of joy is like eternal and that is our secret. It seems impossible to you men, because you don't know happiness. (horse towards men)
  • In an instant, and don't ask me why, I saw all the evil, all the hypocrisy of the world winning with impunity, crushing beauty, truth and... and I was moved.

The bookseller of Selinunte:


A bookseller who doesn't sell books but reads them aloud. And he reads them to a boy, the only one who has ears for him. Sappho, Pessoa, Tolstoy, Rimbaud... Because «all the words written by men are frantic unrequited love; they are a hasty and uncertain diary that we have to fill in a hurry, because there is little time. An immense diary that we keep for God, so as not to go to the appointment empty-handed."


  • Nothing moves, neither here nor there, nor within me. And it is in those moments that I realize it: nothing lives so intensely as time stands still; because it is not the people running, the objects falling, the voices resounding, that make life: those are inexact imitations of life.
  • It wasn't just to stay indoors, shelter from the rain: there must have been in them the absolute certainty of being more than the passing day, beyond the years and beyond time.
  • The wonder of memory was nothing compared to what was happening in my mind and soul.
  • [...] beauty is this dress that you feel sewn on, soft, warm, indestructible, among many others that always lack something.
  • I thought: it's like when you meet a person and their eyes, arm, shoulders, feet, hair are no longer there; those things are not the person, not even put all together: the person is something else.
  • I am a man: there is nothing else, neither the journey nor the meetings count, the storm and the sun do not count, the days, the hours do not count; the meaning of things doesn't even matter, whether it shines or goes out. I am a man and that's it: beyond and beyond, with or without all this.
  • But this is how desperation is, like a prayer without an addressee.





  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named sici
  2. a b c From an open letter published in the Corriere della Sera after the controversy over his intervention of a few days before the meeting Merchants of light. Narrating the beauty between fathers and children; quoted in -si Vecchioni's letter to Sicily: «An island of shit if it doesn't rebel», La, 6 December 2015.
  3. From I have a boulder in my heart, la Repubblica, 10 May 2020, p. 30.
  4. Cited in "Sicily, island of m...", Vecchioni: it was a provocation of love, Giornale di, 5 December 2015.
  5. From ABInter,+a+love+born+out of spite%C2%BB Vecchioni: «Inter, a love born out of spite», Corriere dello Sport, 11 August 2009.
  6. From the preface to Luigi Ferro, Giampiero Rossi, The memories of Adriano (the real one), Melampo.
  7. Quoted in /1999/gennaio/15/Vecchioni_Andre_Pirandello_della_canzone_co_0_990115598.shtml Vecchioni: "De André, the Pirandello of the song", Corriere della Sera, 15 January 1999.
  8. From the interview Giangiacomo Schiavi, -I-would-not-write-piu-samarcanda-d8ce8cd6-2729-11e9-a470-fc09ad5adcfe.shtml Roberto Vecchioni: «Today I would no longer write Samarcanda», 2 February 2019.


  • Roberto Vecchioni, The bookseller of Selinunte, Einaudi, Turin, C.E.2004. ISBN 88-06-16739-1
  • Roberto Vecchioni, The Song of the Theater Song. Notes on the specificity of a language; in Gaber, Giorgio, il Signor G. Told by intellectuals, friends, artists, edited by Andrea Pedrinelli, Kowalski, Milan, C.E.2008, pp. 207-210. ISBN 978-88-7496-754-4
  • Roberto Vecchioni, Scacco a Dio, Einaudi, Turin, C.E.2009. ISBN 978-88-06-19849-7

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