Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ogden Nash's Custard Inspired Puff

Here's a recent live video of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary singing Puff the Magic Dragon - (Yes, we truly do scan the globe for these breaking Nash related links)

from wikipedia:
"Puff, the Magic Dragon" is a song written by Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow and made popular by the group Peter, Paul and Mary in a 1963 recording.

The lyrics for "Puff" were based on a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, a nineteen-year-old Cornell student. Lipton was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled "Custard the Dragon," about a "Really-O, Truly-O, little pet dragon." Lipton passed his poem on to friend and fellow Cornell student Peter Yarrow, who created music and more lyrics to make the poem into the song. In 1961, Yarrow joined Paul Stookey and Mary Travers to form Peter, Paul and Mary. The group incorporated the song into their live performances before recording it in 1962.

The lyrics tell a bittersweet 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 alone and depressed. The story of the song takes place "by the sea" in the fantasy land of Honalei (also the name of a real beach in Hawaii).
~~~~~~~~
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 puffs gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow wheneer they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag 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 lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee.

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

2 comments:

Silly Idea said...

More background on the controversy that once swirled around the true meaning of puff here: http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2007/12/2/lifebookshelf/19533885&sec=lifebookshelf

James Morgan - Puritan Financial Advisor said...

The lyrics tell a bittersweet 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 alone and depressed.

 
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