Monday, August 31, 2015

Peter, Paul & Mary: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?


Peter, Paul and Mary perform “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” live at their 25th anniversary concert in 1986. The group consists of Peter Yarrow, (Noel) Paul Stookey and Mary Travers (who died in 2009, age 72, as a result of leukemia). This folk group first recorded the song in 1962 on their debut album; you can hear an earlier version here.

Pete Seeger wrote the first three verses of the song in 1955 and Joe Hickerson added additional ones in May 1960. The tune taken from the Ukrainian folksong, “Kolyada Duda.” Seeger also drew inspiration from Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel And Quiet Flows the Don (1934), which is a sweeping narrative of the Cossacks residing in the Don River Valley during a period of great change before the First World War. Some have compared Sholokhov’s novel to Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace in its complexity and over-arching themes of love, honour and war. Sholokhov won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1965.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
by Pete Seeger & Joe Hickerson

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

**********************
True; and, where have our values gone? I remember learning and singing this song in elementary school around 1964 or ’65 (I am now 57); we had wonderful teachers at Bancroft School in Montreal.

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