Where have all the flowers gone?

Pete Seeger, a true hero of common people, passed away earlier this week after a long life of 94 years. There are numerous tributes being made to Pete for his lifetime of contribution to the impoverished, disenfranchised and environment. All are justified as he sang and stood up for people even against obstacles like the communist witch hunts of Senator Joe McCarthy where personal freedoms were trampled. For this, he was sentenced for contempt of Congress and blacklisted for ten years.

One of the several causes he sang loudly against was young men being sent off to die for a war that no one understood why we were fighting. One of my favorite Pete Seeger songs is “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Yet, this song resonates with any war and picks up a theme I wrote recently about – “War is old men talking and young men fighting.” https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/war-is-old-men-talking-young-men-fighting/

Where have all the flowers gone,
Long time passing,
Where have all the flowers gone,
Long time ago,
Where have all the flowers gone,
Picked by young girls 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 to soldiers every one,

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,
They’ve 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 we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Pete Seeger will be missed by many. His songs will resonate for future generations. I hope people will take the time to listen to what he sang for and against in tribute to his passing. What is your favorite song of his?

11 thoughts on “Where have all the flowers gone?

  1. My favorite version is by Peter Paul and Mary. They did his words proud. Sadly, I’m not hearing many singer/songwriters today that can compare to the passions of his message. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • I agree, PP&M’s version is my favorite as well. Words matter, but I also agree there seems to be fewer wordsmiths out there. If they are out there, they don’t get the airplay that others popular songs gain. We saw Arlo Guthrie during the Iraq invasion period. He noted his songs from the 1960s seem still relevant. Thanks for writing your words.

  2. I watched several videos of Marlena Dietrich sing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” in German, and then in English. It remains current in sentiment…which says a lot for our disturbing penchant to create war(s).

      • There are several on YouTube…one from the 40’s and more recent 1960’s (not exact on yearly dates) when she received an award from the United Nations. I agree…fascinating woman who did more for war efforts than most know. Would be interesting to do a focus piece on her, BTG…hint
        Raye

      • She was in one of my favorite movies, which my daughter also likes, “Witness for the Prosecution.” I will need to study this a little more.

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