Where Have All the Flowers Gone?


Quick Answer

The flowers were picked by young girls. In the Pete Seeger song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" the lyrics state "Where have all the flowers gone? Young girls have picked them, every one."

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Full Answer

In the song, the young girls go on to marry husbands, who go on to serve in the military and, in verses later written by Joe Hickerson, die and are buried in graveyards, which in turn feed more flowers. This makes the lyrics of the song paint a cyclical picture.

Seeger was inspired by a Ukranian folk song and penned "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" after Hickerson added two more verses. The Kingston Trio recorded the song, which peaked at number 21 on the charts in 1962. The song was adopted by the anti-war movement and is considered a folk standard. Seeger named his memoir "Where Have All the Flowers Gone: A Singalong Memoir," which was published in 1993.

Seeger is also the author of popular folk songs "If I Had a Hammer," popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962 and "Turn! Turn! Turn!" popularized by the Byrds in 1965. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

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