Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
The Kingston Trio (1961) and Peter, Paul And Mary – (1962)
Authored By Dale Nickey:
It’s easy to forget that during the years between McCarthyism and The Beatles, folk music was the hippest and most subversive art form around. Rock had not yet found a conscience. So, it was up to the well groomed, turtle-necked, college nerds to get out the 411. Enter Peter, Paul And Mary (and The Kingston Trio). The trio had a family friendly appeal that allowed them to fit in on network television. Peter, Paul and Mary also had a social conscience. This tune uses the symbolism of flowers to bury the lead on a lyric that describes the ritual slaughter of our bright young men in the service of old men’s wars. In the tight ass media environment of the early sixties you took what the zone defense gave you. Those who were too didactic and literal like Pete Seeger (who ironically co-wrote the tune) got to watch from the sidelines, denied mass media access by the quaint, un-official practice of ‘blacklisting’.