Itunes Add New Music To Phone Without Removing Old Music Was Puff the Magic Dragon a Song About Drugs?

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Was Puff the Magic Dragon a Song About Drugs?

The 1960s were certainly crazy times. The era has become synonymous with drug use and many songs from that era have been tainted with the suggestion that they are about drugs. Was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds really code for LSD? (John Lennon always denied this charge saying the title was inspired by a picture his son had drawn and named.) Did the Byrds Eight Miles High refer to a plane ride or some other kind of flight? The biggest shock of all was the realization that Puff the Magic Dragon was really a song about smoking marijuana.

When you look at the lyrics it’s easy to see how this story spread. The name of the song was quite revealing. Puff was another word for smoking and dragon could be split into two words for the term drag. He took a puff out of the pipe and a drag on the joint. Furthermore, what did people who smoke marijuana use to make their joints? The documents. And what was the name of the little boy is the song? It was Little Jackie Letter. Some have even suggested that Hanah Lee’s magical land was really Hanalei; a Hawaiian village known for its powerful brand of grass.

However, the songwriters claim that Puff The Magic Dragon was a song about the loss of innocence and a young man overcoming his childhood ways. The song began life as a poem written by a 19-year-old Cornell University student, Leonard Lipton. He showed the poem to his friend Peter Yarrow, who set the poem to a tune and added more lyrics. Yarrow went on to form the band Peter, Paul and Mary and their rendition of Puff went to number two in the charts.

It was only after the song hit the charts that the theory that it was a drug song came to light. It is a theory that still exists today despite the authors’ numerous public statements to the contrary. Lipton claimed that the poem was based on Ogden Nash’s poem “Really-O, Truly-O Dragon”. He wrote that “[It is about] losing innocence and facing the adult world. It’s definitely not drug related. I can tell you that at Cornell in 1959 nobody smoked weed… It would be insidious to propagandize about digging in a song for little children”.

Peter Yarrow would later add the following comment: “When Puff was written, I was too innocent to know about drugs. What kind of brainy SOB would write a children’s song with a hidden drug message?”

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