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KINGSTON TRIO: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" is a contemporary folk song. The first three verses were written by Pete Seeger in 1955, and published in Sing Out! magazine. Additional verses were added by Joe Hickerson in May 1960, who turned it into a circular song. Its rhetorical "where?" and meditation on death place the song in the ubi sunt tradition. In 2010, the New Statesman listed it as one of the "Top 20 Political Songs".


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1tqtvxG8O4

Seeger found inspiration for the song in October 1955, while on a plane bound for a concert in Ohio. Leafing through his notebook he saw the passage, "Where are the flowers, the girls have plucked them. Where are the girls, they've all taken husbands. Where are the men, they're all in the army." These lines were taken from the traditional Cossacks folk song "Koloda-Duda", referenced in the Mikhail Sholokhov novel And Quiet Flows the Don (1934), which Seeger had read "at least a year or two before"

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The Kingston Trio recorded the song in 1961. Believing it to be a traditional song, they claimed authorship, although upon notice from Seeger they had their name removed and credited Seeger and Hickerson. Seeger acknowledged their success with this song. Their single, with "O Ken Karanga" as the A-side and the hit "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" the B-side, reached #21 in the 1962 Billboard Hot 100 chart and #4 on the Easy Listening chart.


Peter, Paul and Mary included the song on their eponymous debut album (which spent five weeks as the #1 album in the country) in 1962.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QZq-wKaBWc

 


Posted by George Freund on May 23, 2015 at 6:21 PM 2235 Views