Where have all the flowers gone?


A true modern tale & an old Cossack's Folk song


Koloda-Duda (that is a woman's name)
Where have you been?
Minding the horses.

Which were you minding?
The horse with the saddle with the golden fringe.

But where is your horse?
Standing by the gate.

And where is the gate?
Carried away by the water.

And where are the reeds?
The girls have gathered them.

And where are the girls?
The girls have married and gone away.

And where are the Cossacks?
They have gone to war.

The above is an Old Russian folksong sung by Cossacks as they go
off to war. It is mentioned in the novel 'Quiet flows the Don' by the Russian writer Mikhail Sholokhov. The novel is considered one of
the most significant works of Russian literature and won Mikhail Sholokhov the Nobel Prize for Literature.
An English translation of the first three volumes appeared in 1932. Somewhere in the early fifties Peter Seeger, an American folk singer, read the novel. Peter scribbled down the following lines in his notebook.

Where are the flowers?
The girls have plucked them all.

Where are the girls?
They have all taken husbands.

Where are the men?
They are all in the army.


Some years later on a flight to a concert in Ohio Peter was browsing through his notebook and came again upon the three verses. He then wrote a song with just the three verses.
The years went by but in May 1960 Joe Hickerson added verses four and five and a repeat of verse one. The song then went on to become one of the top 20 Political Songs.
But looking at the world today its important message still seems to fall on deaf ears. One wonders where all the ears have gone? But that is another story.


Where have all the flowers gone?

Written by Pete Seeger & Joe Hickerson, 1956-1960
Click Here to hear the song  >>
Lyrics
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the flowers gone?
The girls have picked them ev'ry one.
Oh, when will you ever learn?
Oh, when will you 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?
They've taken husbands, every one.
Oh, when will you ever learn?
Oh, when will you 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?
They're all in uniform.
Oh, when will you ever learn?
Oh, when will you 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.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, 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?
They're covered with flowers, every one.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

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.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?


Read more on WAR and its ethical issues
in Book of Tales' WAR Special  >>


Where have all the ears gone?

The other Story

To get an idea why the message of this song seems to fall on deaf ears read the other story >>
But you have to read it right to the end to get an idea.

<<  More Tales & Stories for you to read online
FlowersGone.mp3
HomeSouvenir ShopNew ArrivalsRLE ictMailboxEnglish SectionGreeting CardsDutch SectionSitemapDonations