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Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'

DigiTrad:
SAGT MIR WO DIE BLUMEN SIND (Where have all the flowers gone?)
SAGT MIR WO DIE BLUMEN SIND (Where have all the flowers gone?)
WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE
WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE


Related threads:
Tune Req: where have all the flowers gone (4)
Dietrich sings Seeger-Sagt Mir Wo Die Blumen Sind (10)
(origins) Where Have All the Flowers Gone (32)
Where Have All the Flowers Gone-on Seeger tribute (23)
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (10)
(origins) Who wrote Where have all the flowers gone? (20)


Peace 19 Oct 09 - 08:03 PM
Peace 19 Oct 09 - 08:05 PM
Q 19 Oct 09 - 08:23 PM
Peace 19 Oct 09 - 08:25 PM
Q 19 Oct 09 - 08:35 PM
Mark Ross 19 Oct 09 - 08:37 PM
Peace 19 Oct 09 - 08:38 PM
Peace 19 Oct 09 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Young Buchan 19 Oct 09 - 09:04 PM
Don Firth 19 Oct 09 - 09:08 PM
Art Thieme 19 Oct 09 - 09:52 PM
Susanne (skw) 20 Oct 09 - 06:05 PM
Joe_F 20 Oct 09 - 06:17 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 09 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 21 Oct 09 - 04:16 AM
Joe Offer 21 Oct 09 - 04:56 AM
Cool Beans 21 Oct 09 - 02:25 PM
Q 21 Oct 09 - 02:41 PM
Q 21 Oct 09 - 02:53 PM
MtheGM 21 Oct 09 - 03:43 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Oct 09 - 04:11 PM
Stringsinger 21 Oct 09 - 04:32 PM
Cool Beans 21 Oct 09 - 05:06 PM
Art Thieme 21 Oct 09 - 05:39 PM
Georgiansilver 21 Oct 09 - 05:50 PM
Art Thieme 21 Oct 09 - 06:09 PM
Art Thieme 21 Oct 09 - 06:19 PM
Art Thieme 22 Oct 09 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,The Folk Entertainer 22 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM
Tootler 23 Oct 09 - 03:01 PM
Songbob 23 Oct 09 - 03:09 PM
Joe_F 23 Oct 09 - 06:30 PM
Q 23 Oct 09 - 06:43 PM
Art Thieme 23 Oct 09 - 06:56 PM
Mick Woods 24 Oct 09 - 04:32 AM
Jim McLean 24 Oct 09 - 02:22 PM
Q 24 Oct 09 - 03:30 PM
Joe_F 24 Oct 09 - 05:51 PM
Q 24 Oct 09 - 08:41 PM
Peace 26 Oct 09 - 02:48 PM
Peace 26 Oct 09 - 03:13 PM
Gulliver 29 Oct 09 - 04:17 PM
Q 29 Oct 09 - 04:35 PM
Gulliver 29 Oct 09 - 05:18 PM
Q 29 Oct 09 - 09:52 PM
Gulliver 29 Oct 09 - 11:19 PM
Q 30 Oct 09 - 01:48 PM
Q 30 Oct 09 - 01:50 PM
semi-submersible 30 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM
semi-submersible 30 Oct 09 - 06:31 PM
semi-submersible 30 Oct 09 - 07:43 PM
Q 30 Oct 09 - 07:53 PM
semi-submersible 01 Nov 09 - 09:25 PM
Gulliver 02 Nov 09 - 11:57 AM
Gulliver 02 Nov 09 - 12:40 PM
Q 02 Nov 09 - 12:50 PM
Gulliver 02 Nov 09 - 01:32 PM
Q 02 Nov 09 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Joe Moyes 07 Sep 10 - 03:28 PM
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Subject: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:03 PM

I was reading a bang-bang shootem up entitled "traitor's kiss" by Gerald Seymour. At the beginning of each of twenty chapters he asks a question, the answer to which is Kaliningrad. This is the question for chapter 5.

"Q. What is the birthplace of Max Coplet, the Jewish composer who wrote 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone' for Marlene Deitrich?
A. Kaliningrad."

Does anyone have the history of this song?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:05 PM

PS The city used to be called Königsberg.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:23 PM

Allmusic has over 300 citations for this song, nearly all of them listing Pete Seeger. The few other listings all seem to be arrangers. No 'Coplet' listed.
However, this website gives information on Max Coplet and Marlene Dietrich. It says Dietrich was the first performer in 1962. The Kingston Trio is also mentioned.
Later on, it says Seeger wrote it with three verses in 1960 and recorded it as part of a medley in 1960 on a "Rainbow Quest" album.

Max Coplet wrote the German version for Dietrich (six verses).

English, French and German lyrics given at this website:
http://worldmusic.suite101.com/article.cfm/where_have_all_the_flowers_gone

News to me!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:25 PM

Thanks, Q. Was a shock to me because I'd thought it was written by Seeger. Sonuvagun.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:35 PM

He did write the first part of it and Coplet expanded it, if I read the article correctly.
I tried to print the German version, but it came up blank. The 'save' does work, however.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Mark Ross
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:37 PM

The song was written by Pete from a reference in Mikhail Sholokov's AND QUIET FLOWS THE DON. Therein is quoted an old Cossack folksong which later became the song we all know. Pete only wrote 3 verses, the others were added by Joe Hickerson. Max Coplet wrote the German translation.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:38 PM

From the site you gave the address for, Q:

"In the 50s, American folk singer Pete Seeger (1919 - ) often sang at college concerts. In 1958, en route to one of these concerts, on the plane, he had his inspiration for "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?". Seeger pulled out his pocket-size song notebook and as he recalls, "Leafing through it, I came across three lines I'd written down, oh, at least a year or two before". Seeger had read a novel by Mikhail Sholokhov, And Quiet Flows the Don, where he noted the three lines came from a Ukrainian folk song."

Just when the world was seeming to be simple . . . .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Peace
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 08:39 PM

Thanks, Mark. Sorry to have cross-posted.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: GUEST,Young Buchan
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:04 PM

My favourite story about this song is that Gary Shearston, before he went on to become a pop singer, was asked to sing it on Australian TV. Just as he was about to start he was passed a note to say they were overrunning so could he leave out a couple of verses!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:08 PM

I occasionally watch the Classic Arts Showcase channel. They play clips (videos, old films) from various performances, such as a scene from an opera, a song or two from a recital, a selection from a ballet, perhaps an excerpt from a classic film, or a selection from someone's night club act.

One of the clips they show from time to time is Marlene Dietrich singing "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." She introduces it by crediting it to Pete Seeger.

Out of her own mouth.

Don Firth

P. S. She sings it like she needs a vitamin shot, but that's another matter. . . .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:52 PM

JOE HICKERSON is the one who did most of this song.

I can't believe nobody has given Joe the credit he deserves.

Art


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 06:05 PM

In Pete Seeger's own words:

[1998:] In October, 1955, I was on a plane bound for Ohio - half dozing. I found in my pocket three lines copied a year before when I was reading, And Quiet Flows the Don, the Soviet novel by Mikhail Sholokhov, who describes the Cossack soldiers singing as they galloped off to join the Tzar's army. 'Where are the flowers? The girls have plucked them. Where are the girls? They've taken husbands. Where are the men? They're all in the army.' Something clicked in my subconscious; I remembered the phrase I'd thought of a couple years earlier, 'long time passing', a singable three words. Then, I added the handwringer's personal complaint, 'When will they ever learn?'Twenty minutes later, it was completed. I recorded it for Folkways in 1956 with several other short songs. A year later, I stopped singing it, thinking it another not-too-successful attempt. But Joe Hickerson, leader of the Oberlin College Folksong Club, picked it up and added two verses. He gave the song rhythm. The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary eventually picked it up, too. (Notes 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone - The Songs of Pete Seeger')

He also says - in the book of the same title, I think - that he thinks the German version superior to his own. It was written by Max Colpet (not Coplet!), a German Jewish author and songwriter (see Wikipedia).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Joe_F
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 06:17 PM

IMO, the song is much better as Pete Seeger wrote it. It was a mistake for Hickerson to expand it into a cycle of posies, and a bigger mistake for Seeger to accept the result.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 06:44 PM

MacColl's Singers Club in London used to regularly issue 'broadsides' as handouts - this one is dated September 1962:

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE
Words and Music by Pete Seeger

1. 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 children picked them, every one,
O, WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN?
WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN.

2. Where have all the children gone?
LONG TIME PASSING
Where have all the children gone?
LONG TIME AGO
Where have all the children gone?
They're men and women, every one,
O, WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN?
WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN

3. 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,
O, WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN?
WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN

4. 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,
O, WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN
WHEN WILL YOU NEVER LEARN

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 04:16 AM

Pete seems to have a habit of saying that other performers improve his songs. He has certainly said that about Peter, Paul and Mary's take on "If I had a hammer".


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 04:56 AM

Hey, Art, we gave Joe Hickerson credit way back in January 1999 - and August 1999. You didn't think we'd forget Joe, did you?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Cool Beans
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 02:25 PM

As I recall, the original lyric appears within the first few pages of "And Quiet Flows the Don," if anyone wants to check it out.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 02:41 PM

Lyr' Add: Sag Mir, Wo Die Blumen Sind
Lyrics Max Colpet (Max Kolpé, 1905-1998)

1
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
wo sind sie gebleiben?
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
was ist geschehn?
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
Mädchen pflückten sie geschwind.
Wann wird man je verstehen,
wann wird man je verstehen?
2
Sag mir, wo die Mädchen sind,
wo sind sie gebleiben?
Sag mir, wo die Mädchen sind,
was ist geschehn?
Sag mir, wo die Mädchen sind,
Männer nahmen sie geschwind.
Wann wird man je verstehn,
wann wird man je verstehn?
3
Sag mir, wo doe Männer sind,
wo sind gebleiben?
Sag mir, wo die Männer sind,
was ist geschehn?
Sag mir, wo die Männer sind,
zogen fort, der Krieg beginnt.
Wann wird man je verstehn,
wann wird man je verstehn?
4
Sag, wo die Soldaten sind,
wo sind sie geblieben?
Sag, wo die Soldaten sind,
was ist geschehn?
Sag, wo die Soldaten sind,
über Gräbern weht der Wind.
Wann wird man je verstehn,
wann wird man je verstehn?
5
Sag mir, wo die Gräer sind,
wo sind sie gebleiben?
Sag mir, wo die Gräber sind,
was ist geschehn?
Sag mir, wo die Gräer sind,
Blumen wehn im Sommerwind.
Wann wird man je verstehn,
wann wird man je verstehn?
6
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
wo sind sie gebleiben?
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
was ist geschehn?
Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind,
Mädchen pflückten sie geschwind.
Wann wird man je verstehn,
wann wird man je verstehn?

Not much German need be known to see that these are great lyrics.
Max Colpet wrote many screenplays, mostly for German films, but some in French and English.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 02:53 PM

Verse 5, line 3" should be Gräber.

The novel doesn't really have the words set as a lyric-although the prose is quite poetic. See Suzanne post, quoting Seeger.
An excellent book; I forget who made the English translation, but it is engrossing prose. The book was picked up by many book clubs and paperback publishers, thus was widely read everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: MtheGM
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 03:43 PM

I have an early [1934] edition of the English translation of Sholokhov's 'And Quiet Flows the Don'; the translator was Stephen Garry.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 04:11 PM

Complete aside - Our second eldest son was going to be Mark but Mrs el G. was reading 'Quiet flows the Don' at the time and in a gas and air induced haze son number 2 became Mikhail instead - It stayed!

I was realy interested to hear that the song in question was based on a Ukraine folk song though - It now goes in with 'Those were the days' and 'The Carnival is over' for me. How many more are there?

DeG


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 04:32 PM

The melody is pure Seeger. It has the feel of one of the anthemic Russian songs, "Stenka Razin" (River of Our People).

Pete's original feel for the song was slow, stirring and you could hear the balalaikas.

There should be a Russian translation for the song.

I never really cared for the rhumba beat that became popular.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Cool Beans
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:06 PM

The tune of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" is said to be based on a folk melody from that part of the world.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:39 PM

Joe, thanks.

I knew, somewhere, we probably had given Joe credit for his verses.

Art


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:50 PM

Wikipedia may often have the correct answers.... is this one correct?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:09 PM

Mudcatters,
Here is an email I got from Joe a few years back.
Art Thieme

To: kathy westra; sarah newcomb; Bob Molison; Ron Cohen; Mel McKeachie; mike michaels; lynn hickerson; nick reynolds; joani blank; Jim Ellis; joanna cazden; iuaaweb; art thieme; Ellie Shapiro; ellie hall; Delores Taller; deborah robins; richard burgess; bernard aptekar; Ann Schmid

I thought you might be interested in this historical piece which I have submitted to the SEM (Society for Ethnomusicology) Newsletter. I did a brief presentation on this at their 50th Annual Meeting in Atlanta last November.

Joyous New Year!
Joe


...here is an outline of my presentation:

10/20/55 (my 20th birthday; and one month before the advent of SEM): Pete Seeger wrote the first 3 verses of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" on an airplane on his way to do a concert at Oberlin College (in Oberlin, Ohio). He performed it that evening in concert at First Church in Oberlin. I was there, but I did not remember the song at that time. Pete's song was a paraphrase of a Cossack song text which appeared in the novel And Quiet Flows the Don, written by the Russian novelist Mikhail Sholokhov.

Early 1960: Pete's 3-verse tempo rubato rendition was issued on his Folkways LP FA 2454, Rainbow Quest. I learned the song from the LP and started singing it with guitar accompaniment at concerts and gatherings in Bloomington, Indiana . Folks liked to sing along and harmonize, but the song was so short that we repeated the 3 verses over and over.

May 1960: late one night in Bloomington I composed the 4th and 5th verses for the song, and added the 1st verse at the end, thus making it a 6-verse song.

Summer 1960: I taught my 6-verse version to campers and staff at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY. It became one of their top-5 favorites. In August 1960 Pete Seeger visited the camp and heard the song for the first time with my added verses. At the end of the summer, staff and campers took the song back to New York City, where it was heard by Peter, Paul, and/or Mary.

Fall 1961: The Kingston Trio heard PP&M sing it in Cambridge, MA, and rushed to record it at their next recording session.

1/20/62: The Kingston Trio single of the song hit the Billboard charts, where it remained until 4/21/62. It's appearance on Trio LPs ran from 3/10/62 to 6/6/64.

4/28/62: The song was included on PP&M's 1st LP, Peter Paul and Mary, which entered the Billboard charts on this date, and remained there until 11/6/65, achieving the number one position 7 weeks.

1962: Marlene Dietrich recorded a popular German version, "Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind," in Europe, which was subsequently covered by Joan Baez on an LP which appeared on the Billboard charts 10/23/65-4/9/66.

9/25/65: Johnny Rivers' rock version charted in Billboard through 1/22/66.

1968: Meanwhile, Ethel Raim and her group The Pennywhistlers recorded a Russian antecedent, "Kolada Duda."

1960s: there were two hit versions in Japan, These are discussed in an 80-minute Japanese documentary film on "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," in which I appear.

11/2/73: at the 18th SEM conference in Urbana, IL, Will Schmid delivered a paper entitled "Collected Variants of the Contemporary Folk Song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone." I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though my name was not mentioned.

1976: I received communications from German scholar, Dietrich Gerhardt, who had discovered an early printed version of the Russian song, and then that of a German precursor dated ca. 1750.

A coda: the December 1962 - January 63 issue of Sing Out! (vol. 12, no. 5) printed a parody of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," submitted by a graduate student at Indiana University. The gist was: Where have all the folksongs gone? Collector have taken them every one; where have all the collections gone? gone to archives every one; where have all the archives gone? pop singers raided them one by one; where have all the pop singers gone? gone to make records every one; where have all the records gone? the "folk" have bought them every one; where have all the pop songs gone? the folk are singing them every one; and where have all the folksongs gone etc.?

A who was that brash cheeky IU grad student? It was me.

Joe Hickerson


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:19 PM

I forgot I had saved it.

Art


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 02:52 PM

refish for Joe Offer

Art


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: GUEST,The Folk Entertainer
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 03:12 PM

I sing this song quite frequently when I perform. Kind of the Kingston Trio version which is what most casual folk music listeners like and are familiar with.

This is the kind of song that the general audience doesn't care much about origins. Just that people like the song, like to sing along with it, and it brings back memories of when folk music was actually popular to the masses. Good reasons to sing it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 03:01 PM

To state, as Art Thieme does, that "Joe Hickerson is the one who did most of this song." to me is overstating the case.

It was Pete Seeger who had the original idea and wrote the original song. Joe Hickerson in adding the extra verses changed the character of the song, IMO.

I have, up in the loft, an LP in which Pete Seeger sings the original three verse version unaccompanied in live performance. In the third verse he sings

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.

At that point he finishes the song. For me that created quite a powerful effect and gives the song a different character to the "cycle of life and death" that Joe Hickerson's extra verses give.

Which you think is better is, of course, entirely up to you.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Songbob
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 03:09 PM

[mode: soapbox]

Every time I hear the song, though, no matter who's singing it, nor which version, I get bothered.

I think it should go, "Oh, when will WE ever learn?" After all, it may be some "other" that does this -- the war-making and grave-filling -- but it's US that keeps it happening.

As long as it's someone else's damned problem, then we, the singers, can cluck our disapproving tongues. But when it's OUR problem, then maybe we'll try a little harder, eh?

Just maybe.

[/mode: soapbox]

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:30 PM

Songbob: In Seeger's original version, the refrain was "Oh, when will you ever learn" until the last time, when in was indeed "Oh, when will we ever learn". That makes the point.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:43 PM

The German "Wand wird man je verstehen" says it well, the 'man' meaning one , thus inclusive of you, me, we, etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 06:56 PM

Tootler,
Yep, you are right. I overstated the case.-- I was forcing my point to the fore. --- Pete first--then Joe H.

It's more than the sum of it's parts me thinks.

Art


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Mick Woods
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 04:32 AM

Can somebody post the original short Pete Seeger version in it's entirety?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:22 PM

There's a nice French version too, Ou sont vont toute les fleurs. I think all's fair in love and war when it comes to playing with traditional songs, that's the folk process, but to alter or add to an original work is, in my opinion not on. Write your own song, I would suggest.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 03:30 PM

Along with Seeger's original text, Colpet used an old song, "Sagt wo sind die Veilchen hin," by Johann Georg Jacobi, 1782.
Veilchen = violets.
The German version was first sung in 1962 by Marlene Dietrich (may be heard on youtube).


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:51 PM

Mick Woods:

From memory:

"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 have picked them, every one.
Oh, when will you ever learn?
Oh, when will you ever learn?"

"Where have all the young girls gone?..."
"They've taken husbands, every one...."

"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 we ever learn?
Oh, when will we ever learn?"


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Sagt wo sind die Veilchen hin?
From: Q
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:41 PM

Lyr. Add: Sagt wo sind die Weilchen hin?
(Nach einem alten Liede)
Johann Georg Jacobi (1740-1814)

1
Sagt wo sind die Veilchen hin?
Die so freudig glänzten
Und die Blumen Königin
Ihren Weg bekränzten?
Junglicg ach! Der Lenz entflieht,
Diese Veilchen sind verblüht!
2
Sagt wo sind die Rosen hin?
Die wir singend pflückten,
Als sich Hirt und Schäferin
Hut und Busen schmückten?
Mädchen ach! Der Sommer flieht,
Jene Rosen sind verblüht!
3
Führe denn zum Bächlein mich,
Das die Veilchen tränkte;
Das mit leisem Murmeln sich
In die Thäler senkte.
Luft und Sonne Glühten sehr,
Jenes Bäachlein ist nicht mehr!

English translation-

Say, where have the violets gone,
That once shone serenely,
And made a pathway bright
For the flowers so queenly?
Gentle youth! the spring has fled,
And the violets now are dead!

Say, where have the roses gone
Which we plucked as we sang,
Shepherdess and shepherd bedecked,
Hat and breast adorning?
Dear maiden! the summer's fled,
The roses, too, are dead!

Lead me to the brook
Where the violets were drinking;
Where with gentle murmur
The brook sinks into the valley.
Brightly glowed both sun and air,
The brook is no longer there!

The similarity of this poem to "Where have all the flowers..." is unmistakable.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Peace
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 02:48 PM

Thanks to all who posted new info about the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Peace
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 03:13 PM

Q: Your research abilities and depth of 'general info' about music is remarkable. Special thanks to you.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Gulliver
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:17 PM

I've started an article on Max Colpet on Wikipedia, here. It's mainly a translation from German sources. If anyone has any further info I'd appreciate them updating the site or PMing it to me and I'll upload it. I've also updated the German Wiki article Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind with Joe Hickerson's input (he wasn't mentioned at all!) and some other corrections. The Italian article IMHO is much better but needs a couple of citations (which I'll do shortly).

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:35 PM

A better article is much needed.
Max Colpet wrote many screen plays, not touched on in the brief Wiki note (a couple for American films).
I also wonder if the German poem, "Sagt wo sind die Weilchen hin?" influenced Hickerson as well as Colpet?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Gulliver
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:18 PM

Well, I only started the article a couple of hours ago...

I'm not sure whether Hickerson researched the German poem, but he did research the original Russian/Ukrainian/Cossack song.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 09:52 PM

Which also makes me wonder if the "original" Ukrainian song was borrowed from the German.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Gulliver
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:19 PM

Or vice versa...

Another old song, of Lithuanian origin (or East Polish or Baltic - all roughly the same area), is mentioned on some German-language and Italian-language sites, called in German "Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne" (five wild swans once went out), dating from the 17th-century, possibly the Thirty Years War, as being possibly an antecedent of the Jacobi poem. The last of the three verses mention five young men who went off to war, none of whom returned.

Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne,
Schwäne leuchtend weiß und schön.

Which brings to mind a poem, Le cinque anatre (the five ducks) by the present day Italian poet, Francesco Guccini.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:48 PM

Very similar in form. Thanks for the reference.

"Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne" at ingeb.org;


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:50 PM

Link cut off-
Zogen einst


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: semi-submersible
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM

Q, you said that in verse 5 above Graen should be Graben. (Sorry about the lack of accents.) The one occurrence you specified was corrected by some helpful elf; should the other two be corrected too?

Farther down, should the flowers be Veilchen, Weilchen, or both?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: semi-submersible
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:31 PM

Another MudElf alert: at the top of this thread, both Digital Tradition links are duplicated.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: semi-submersible
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:43 PM

Wonderful scholarship, and fascinating stuff!

Re David el Gnomo's aside:
"I was realy interested to hear that the song in question was based on a Ukraine folk song though - It now goes in with 'Those were the days' and 'The Carnival is over' for me. How many more are there?"

George Gershwin's Summertime is another, according to Denise and Randy Bachman's research for their CBC program Vinyl Tap. The melody is borrowed from a traditional Ukrainian lullaby.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:53 PM

In verse 5, all three should be Gräber (or graeber, if umlaut not used).

In "Sagt wo.....," the Title word should be Veilchen (violets). Sorry that I was so sloppy.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: semi-submersible
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:25 PM

Q, I enjoyed your translation of "Sagt wo sind die Veilchen hin?" Where could I find an ABC or score of the tune? Mind if I rearrange some of your phrases for rhyme and rhythm, such as, in verses 2 and 3: "Which we plucked, a-singing;" and "Was brook in valley sinking."?

Could "die Blumen Konigin" in the third line refer to the violets themselves? Little violets don't seem exactly regal, and I'd expect them to be called by a diminutive like Blumchen.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Gulliver
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 11:57 AM

Score and ABC here

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Gulliver
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 12:40 PM

Jacobi's song is prefaced with "Nach einem alten Liede" (after an old song). According to an article in the same journal that printed Jacobi's song (1782), Carl Wilhelm Pörner wrote (1783) that this "old song" is the Gartenlied (Garden Song) by Carl August Svabe (born c. 1711), written about 1750. He was secretary to a functionary at the court of Dresden. In this song, which became popular while Svabe was absent due to the Seven-Year's War, the author (poet) asks at the beginning of each verse:
Where are the violets
Where are the tulips
Where is the rose
Where are the girls
Where are the friends
Where is the poet

...and they're all gone, of course.

Svabe possibly based his song on an older song, either German or Italian (but I've afraid I don't have time to go into this now!).

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 12:50 PM

semi-submersible, change it as you wish; it ain't mine, but was found on the internet (ingeb?). I may have changed a word or two to something less stilted.

Gulliver, thanks for posting the earlier history of the song. The melody is simple and memorable, the idea behind the song instantly catches one, thus it has been passed down and revised through time.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Gulliver
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:32 PM

I forgot to mention my source for the information on Svabe, which is here (in German). The PDF contains a setting for Jacobi's song dating from 1783.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: Q
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:53 PM

The reference cited by Gulliver has three more verses to "Sagt, wo sind die Veilchen hin. They add to the similarity.

4
Bringe denn zur Laube mich,
Wo die Rosen standen,
Wo in treuer Liebe sich
Hirt' und Mädchen fanden.
Wind und Hagel stürmten sehr:
Jene Laube grünt nicht mehr.
5
Sagt, wo ist das Mädchen hin,
Das, weil ichs erblickte,
Sich mit demutvollem Sinn
Zu den Veilchen bückte?
Jüngling! alle Schönheit flieht:
Auch das Mädchen ist verblüht.
6
Sagt, wo ist der Sä:nger hin,
Der auf bunten Wiesen
Veilchen, Ros' und Schäferin,
Laub' und Bach gepriesen?
Mädchen! unser Leben flieht:
Auch der Sänger ist verblüht.

Hamburger Musen Almanach für 1783 .
Perhaps Gulliver has a decent translation.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?'
From: GUEST,Joe Moyes
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 03:28 PM

I've always enjoyed playing a version of this song, with some added words at the end for comic effect. When i first heard this song, it was by the kingston trio on one of their compilation albums. Pete seeger has always deserved to to credited with the writing of this song. Also Joe Hickerson, i believe should be credited for writing some extra verses. Which everyone knows it as.


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