in what land did puff the magic dragon live?

in what land did puff the magic dragon live?

in what land did puff the magic dragon live?

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“Puff, the Magic Dragon” (or just “Puff”) is a song written by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary from a poem by Leonard Lipton.

Lipton wrote a poem about a dragon in 1959, and when Yarrow found it, he wrote the lyrics to “Puff” based on the poem.

“Puff, The Magic Dragon” or “Puff (The Magic Dragon)”, listed on the original Moving album simply as “Puff”, is a song which was written by Peter Yarrow, based on a poem by Leonard Lipton, and was first performed by Peter, Paul, & Mary.

in what land did puff the magic dragon live?
in what land did puff the magic dragon live?

IN A LAND CALLED HONALEI

A Naif in the Forest by Darrell Berger

Wing Tips to Hiking Boots: Musings of a New, Full-Time Poconos Resident

We stayed five miles west of the coastal village of Honalei.

Honalee was where “Puff the Magic Dragon” of the 1963 Peter, Paul and Mary hit song frolicked. For many years I thought it was a mythic place. I wanted to meet Puff. I assumed he would be alive and well in Honalei’s marketing, as Anne of Green Gables is for Prince Edward Island, or the Monster at Loch Ness.

 The northern shore of Honalei Bay is a small mountain range that rises from the sea and protects the village from storms. It looks like a dragon’s head. The head tapers into a series of ridges, like a dragon’s back. It ends with an evergreen copse, like a dragon’s spiked tail.

I took this photo through the mist and returned on a sunny day for a better view.

Yarrow and Lifton thought they had imagined Puff and Honalei. It appears the mythic beast merely used them as a way of revealing himself. Puff the Magic Dragon for me was no longer a story only about losing the magic of youth.

Lyrics

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.

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”.

One gray night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more, and Puff, that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

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”

The lyrics tell a story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate, Jackie Paper, a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood and leaves Puff to be with himself. The story of the song takes place “by the sea” in the fictional land of “Honalee”.

He used Yarrow’s typewriter to get the poem out of his head.

Speculation about drug references

After the song’s initial success, speculation arose—as early as a 1964 article in Newsweek—that the song contained veiled references to smoking marijuana. The word “paper” in the name of Puff’s human friend Jackie Paper was said to be a reference to rolling papers, the words “by the sea” were interpreted as “by the C” (as in cannabis), the word “mist” stood for “smoke”, the land of “Honahlee” stood for hashish, and “dragon” was interpreted as “draggin'” (i.e., inhaling smoke).

The authors of the song have repeatedly rejected this interpretation and have strongly and consistently denied that they intended any references to drug use. Both Lipton and Yarrow have stated, “‘Puff, the Magic Dragon’ is not about drugs.

Yarrow has frequently explained that the song is about the hardships of growing older and has no relationship to drug-taking. He has also said that the song has “never had any meaning other than the obvious one” and is about the “loss of innocence in children.”

 He has dismissed the suggestion of it being associated with drugs as “sloppy research”. The prosecutor of the trial claimed the song was about marijuana, but Puff and Jackie protested. The audience joined in with Stookey and at the end of their sing-along, the judge declared the “case dismissed.”

Notable recordings and chart performance

In 1961, Peter Yarrow joined Paul Stookey and Mary Travers to form Peter, Paul and Mary.

The trio’s 1962 recording of “Puff the Magic Dragon” entered the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts on March 30, 1963, and peaked at number two, kept out of the top spot by “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March. It topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary charts. It also reached number ten on Billboard’s R&B chart. In Canada, the song reached number four in April 1963.

Adaptations

A 1978 animated television special, Puff the Magic Dragon, adapted the song. Nobody. In all three films, Burgess Meredith voiced Puff.

In September 1979, a picture-book version of the short used pictures based on the animated feature. This included “The Boat Song” and “Weave Me the Sunshine”.

In 2007, jazz pianist Jason Rebello recorded and released an album entitled Jazz Rainbow featuring the song “Puff, the Magic Dragon” arranged for a jazz trio.

A 2007 book adaptation of the song’s lyrics by Yarrow, Lipton, and illustrator Eric Puybaret gives the story a happier ending with a young girl (presumed by reviewers to be Jackie Paper’s daughter) seeking out Puff to become her new companion. The lyrics remain unchanged from the Peter, Paul, and Mary version.

Spanish neofolk band Trobar de Morte released a radically re-arranged new age version of the song on their compilation album 20 Years of Music & Sorcery (2020)

Parodies

In the mid 1970s, an American Jewish band named Ruach created a parody version of the song entitled “Puff the Kosher Dragon”. The Ruach song has been noted as one of the first examples of a modern Jewish band using a popular secular tune.

Yarrow condemned the act as “shocking and saddening in the extreme,” stating that “taking a children’s song and twisting it in such vulgar, mean-spirited way, is a slur to our entire country and our common agreement to move beyond racism.

What Was the Meaning Behind the Song “Puff The Magic Dragon”?

Who doesn’t remember and love this wonderful folk song for children, performed by the trio Peter, Paul and Mary?

The song “Puff The Magic Dragon” brought some relief to youngsters too.

in what land did puff the magic dragon live?
in what land did puff the magic dragon live?

Who Wrote “Puff The Magic Dragon”?

The song we know and love began. Its life as a poem written in the spring of 1959. By a young university student by the name of Leonard Lipton. Leonard was attending Cornell University in central New York near the picturesque Finger Lakes region. A physics major, Leonard seemed the unlikely author of poetry of any kind.

Leonard was at a library on campus one evening. And came across a book of poems by American poet Ogden Nash. One of these poems, “The Tale of Custard The Dragon,” written by Nash in 1936, really stuck with Leonard.

One of Leonard’s pals happened to be the roommate of a fellow by the name of Peter Yarrow. Leonard visited their apartment often.  Leonard proceeded to put his own poem together on Peter’s old typewriter.

in what land did puff the magic dragon live?
in what land did puff the magic dragon live?

Third Time Lucky

The first single from the album, a song called Big Boat, didn’t fare all that well. Reaching the bottom of the Top 100 and only remaining there for two weeks.

The song made the Easy Listening, R&B and Hot 100 charts, and was—and remains—an immensely popular song. Or you can pick up The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary.

Is “Puff The Magic Dragon” a Song About Drugs?

The answer is no.

This urban legend actually started right after the release of the song in 1963. As the result of a story in a New York newspaper. The story speculated about the name Jackie Paper being a reference to rolling papers used in marijuana cigarettes. And the very name “Puff” supposedly implied smoking marijuana.

The song is about childhood. We’re talking about Cornell in 1958. “People were going to hootenannies – they weren’t smoking joints.”

When did Peter Yarrow record Puff the Magic Dragon?

Hrecorded a version of the song at the Sydney Opera House in March 1973 where he set up a fictitious trial scene.

in what land did puff the magic dragon live?
in what land did puff the magic dragon live?

Who is the voice of Puff the Magic Dragon?

It was followed by two sequels, Puff the Magic Dragon in the Land of the Living Lies and Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody. In all three films, Burgess Meredith voiced Puff. In December 2016, it was announced that Fox Animation would produce a live-action/animation film based on the song with Mike Mitchell as director.

Is there a Jewish version of Puff the Magic Dragon?

In the mid 1970s, an American Jewish band named Ruach created a parody version of the song entitled “Puff the Kosher Dragon”

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