Where Have All the Flowers Gone. is a modern folk-style song. The melody and the first three verses were written by Pete Seeger in 1955 and published in Sing Out, additional verses were added in May 1960 by Joe Hickerson, who turned it into a circular song. 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. The 1964 release of the song as a Columbia Records 45 single, 13-33088, Seeger found inspiration for the song in October 1955 while he was on a plane bound for a concert at Oberlin College, one of the few venues which would hire him during the McCarthy era. Leafing through his notebook he saw the passage, Where are the flowers, where are the girls, theyve all taken husbands. Where are the men, theyre all in the army and these lines were taken from the traditional Cossack folk song Koloda-Duda, referenced in the Mikhail Sholokhov novel And Quiet Flows the Don, which Seeger had read at least a year or two before. Seeger created a song which was published in Sing Out in 1962. He recorded a version with three verses on The Rainbow Quest album released in July 1960, later, Joe Hickerson added two more verses with a recapitulation of the first in May 1960 in Bloomington, Indiana. In 2010, the New Statesman listed it as one of the Top 20 Political Songs, the song appeared on the compilation album Pete Seegers Greatest Hits released by Columbia Records as CS9416. 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 and 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 album in 1962. Marlene Dietrich performed this song in English, French and German, the song was first performed in French by Marlene in 1962 at a UNICEF concert. She also recorded the song in English and in German, the latter titled Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind, with lyrics translated by Max Colpet. She performed the German version on a tour of Israel, where she was warmly received and her version peaked #32 in German charts. Dalida also recorded the song in French as Que sont devenues les fleurs, adapted by Guy Béart in 1962. Jaap Fischer recorded the song in Dutch as Zeg me waar de bloemen zijn, the Searchers released their version on the album Meet The Searchers, released June 1963. The Springfields featuring Dusty Springfield released a version in German in 1963, bobby Darin recorded the song on the Golden Folk Hits album on Capitol,2007, which was released in November 1963
1960 release on The Rainbow Quest LP, Folkways, FA 2454, by Pete Seeger
Columbia Hall of Fame 45 rpm single release as 13-33088 featuring the November 1962 version. August 1965.