Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Where have all the flowers gone?"

Floral tributes at the grave of L.A.C.W. Elizabeth Cowan
[Whitehaven Cemetery, Cumbria (November 2014)]
For additional information click on 'Comments' below.
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5 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

A time of remembrance

In the western Allied countries of the First and Second World Wars November is the month of remembrance. It is especially at this time of year that those who have died or been injured due to wars and conflicts, the bereaved and those still suffering are remembered.

In Britain and the Commonwealth, France, Belgium, the United States and many other countries it has been this way since the Armistice of 11 November 1918, marking an end to the 1914 - 1918 war, the 'war to end all wars'. History proves to us that this was not the case: there was a Second World War a little over 20 years later and many other wars and conflicts since. Many more men and women, young and old and even children, have lost their lives or had their lives devastated by wars and conflicts and each one of them has been an individual with a family and a circle of friends.

Although I never met her, each year at remembrance time one of those I remember is Leading Aircraftwoman Elizabeth Cowan, my cousin Betty, who died on 24 October 1945 from bomb blast injuries received in the London area earlier in the year while serving in the W.A.A.F. Betty is buried in Whitehaven Cemetery and relatives still place a poppy cross and floral tributes at her grave (see photograph above). There is stll a sadness at a young life cut short by war, having done her duty and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
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Sunday, 23 November, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

"Where have all the flowers gone?"

November is the time of year when many people place floral tributes or poppy wreaths in memory of extended family members or family friends who have died in wars. In November 2014 one question came to mind when placing a floral tribute at Cousin Betty's grave: "Where have all the flowers gone?"

This is the rhetorical question asked by Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson in their folk song of that name. It is a song that meditates on death and war and is known as an anti-war song in many languages and lands. The music and the lyrics of the first three verses are by Pete Seeger (1919 - 2014) while the lyrics of the fourth and fifth verses are by Joe Hickerson (b. 1935).

These are the lyrics (in English) of the song:

"Where have all the flowers gone?"

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 everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they 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?
Gone for husbands everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands gone, long time passing?
Where have all the husbands gone, long time ago?
Where have all the husbands gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they 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?
Gone to graveyards, everyone
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?
Gone to flowers, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
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Sunday, 23 November, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The German born American singer Marlene Dietrich (1901 - 1992) recorded the song "Where have all the flowers gone?" in English, French and German. She sang the German language version of the song in Israel, breaking an unofficial taboo of that time on performing in German in that country.

Click on the following link to see Marlene Dietrich performing "Where have all the flowers gone? at the 1963 Royal Variety Performance:
'Where have all the flowers gone?' (English)

For the German language version of the song by Marlene Dietrich ('Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind?') click on the following link:
'Where have all the flowers gone?' (German)

For the French language version of the song by Marlene Dietrich ('Où vont les fleurs?') click on the following link:
'Where have all the flowers gone?' (French)
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Sunday, 23 November, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Will there ever be an end to war? Will they, or we, ever learn?
We can see where the flowers have gone. They are in the graveyards all over the world.
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Sunday, 23 November, 2014  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

To read the BBC "People's War" article about L.A.C.W. Elizabeth Cowan (my Cousin Betty), click on the following link:
'At Rest, her duty nobly done' (BBC 'People's War' article)
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Monday, 24 November, 2014  

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