Puff, The Magic Dragon

Last week’s Song Lyric Sunday featured Aroma & Flavor with Odor, Scent, Smell & Taste prompts.  We’ve got PG this week where the title of the song that we choose must start with either the letter P or G. Happy New Year Jim!  

I chose the song Puff, the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary because this was one of the “longer” songs I have learned as a toddler. My parents both loved the song which they would often sing to me & eventually, with me.

Later on, during my teens, some people told me that there is a backmasked version of this song containing weird Satanic lyrics — never tried listening to it because I’d rather have the good old version my parents have taught me.

Puff, the Magic Dragon is a song written by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary from a poem by Leonard Lipton.  It was made popular by Yarrow’s group in a 1962 recording released in January 1963. Lipton wrote a poem about a dragon in 1959, and when Yarrow found it, he wrote the lyrics to “Puff” based on the poem. After the song was released, Yarrow searched for Lipton to give him credit for the song.

Wikipedia

PUFF, THE MAGIC DRAGON

Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff

Oh, Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff’s gigantic tail
Noble kings and princes would bow whene’er they came
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name

Oh, Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
Puff the magic dragon…

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

23 thoughts on “Puff, The Magic Dragon

    1. Back then, almost every song had a subliminal version, I wonder if it’s even true… I was too young to ascertain and never did try as I got older…

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        1. Hahaha… 😀 Indeed

          I am visiting the pingbacks one by one 😀 Most songs were new to me.. there are few familiar ones ❤ I add the songs to my apple music so I can listen more elaborately while doing chores 😀

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      1. When I was at primary school, our head teacher took the lead with getting us singing. He played the guitar, and I am sure he loved nothing better than getting the whole school (we were a smallish school) gathered in the hall or one of the larger classrooms and singing while he played. He played The Beatles, Dylan and many other popular songs. It is one of my biggest memories of school. He was such a lovely man and he clearly loved music and singing.

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        1. That’s so cool! I wish we’ve had that kind of experience during childhood… they never paid an elaborate attention to music… I wish someone introduced Dylan to us.. it would have made a lot of difference in my music taste growing up. You had an awesome school experience!

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    1. It was the backmasked version I believe … never attempted listening to it… I know of the drug ref. in the lyrics hehe… but I didnt know it got banned bec of it, I was too young to know of those things back then…

      Thanks Jim! It was a good song! One of the songs that I won’t ever forget ❤️

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      1. The Everly Brothers “Wake Up Little Susie” was banned for teenage hanky-panky, the Bobby Darin hit “Splish Splash” was banned for shocking nudity because a guy gets out of a bath and goes to a party. The Who “My Generation” was thought to be unfair to the disabled because Roger Daltrey stuttered in this song. The Rolling Stones song “Let’s Spend the Night Together” was thought to have low morals and many people didn’t like John Lennon’s “Imagine”, because of the line “imagine there’s no heaven,” which was deemed to be anti-religious.

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        1. Thanks for sharing these info… I didn’t know about those except for the Imagine issue because yeah… some would really frown on that like how they did with Joan Osborne’s One of Us as some felt it’s blasphemous to even think of God being a slob… and I recently read about how people disliked We Are the World for the “turning stones to bread” line because it didn’t actually happen in the Bible. While I knew of that fact.. it didn’t quite bother me because I do not always treat songs to be precise and factual… some writers are just being poetic…

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  1. It’s a wonderful song, Janis. It is one of those songs that has strong imagery and is in fact, very emotive.

    You can put your mind at ease concerning all that other stuff out there regarding the negative aspects that have been reported on over the years. Peter Yarrow (as we know a famous musician as per the video clip above) wrote the song in 1958 after finding some poetic prose left in his typewriter by his friend Lenny Lipton during exam time. Lenny went on to be the inventor of 3D technology for films. The song was written for children and how things change for them as they grow older and not for any other reason.

    Anyway, I will be playing “Puff” on the guitar later today 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s some good trivia Sean!

      True Sean. I remember how the last part made me sad.. and when my mom explained what the song meant… it got even sadder…

      That’s what I thought, I was just telling Jim on the other comment, songwriters do not necessarily have hidden meanings all the time or would mean to commit an ultimate historical error when writing their songs— some of them are just being poetic…

      I love this song and the memories of my childhood attached to it.

      I am glad you get to remember the song today! ♥️

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