In this excerpt from the podcast, Seeger explains the inspiration behind one of his most famous songs, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" [2:03]
Pete Seeger: If somebody hears a song and they think they can put different words to it, add a verse, change it a little. I've done this with many a song. The song "Where Have all the Flowers Gone" I came across in reading a Russian novel in translation, and it describes the Cossacks galloping off to join the Czar's army. And three lines were written: "Where are the flowers? The girls have plucked them. Where are the girls? They're all married. Where are the men? They're all in the army." And I added a few lines of my own and had a song. Years later I found a Yiddish song with the same general plot. It could be a thousand years old, the analogy of flowers with girls and then men going to war.