Puff the Magic Dragon

This is an online fiddle lesson for the Peter, Paul and Mary song "Puff the Magic Dragon."
This lesson is by special request for my friend Gu.

BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

Genre: Folk
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Key of A and G

You may download and use any of the MP3s and tablature for your personal use. However, please do not make them available online or otherwise distribute them.

NOTE: If multiple fiddle lessons and MP3s are loading at once, this page will get slow! I recommend that you refresh the page each time you open a new video or MP3.

Video #1: Here is a video of me performing "Puff the Magic Dragon."

Puff the Magic Dragon -  Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

Puff the Magic Dragon -  Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Puff the Magic Dragon -  Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Puff the Magic Dragon -  Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Puff the Magic Dragon -  Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Puff the Magic Dragon -  Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle. Puff the Magic Dragon -  Online Fiddle Lessons. Celtic, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Gospel, and Country Fiddle.

"Puff, the Magic Dragon" is a song written by Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow, and made popular by Yarrow's group Peter, Paul and Mary in a 1962 recording. The song achieved great popularity.

The lyrics for "Puff, the Magic Dragon" were based on a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, a 19-year-old Cornell University student.  Lipton was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled "Custard the Dragon", about a "realio, trulio little pet dragon."

Lipton was friends with Peter Yarrow's housemate when they were all students at Cornell. He used Yarrow's typewriter to get the poem out of his head. He then forgot about it until years later, when a friend called and told him Yarrow was looking for him, to give him credit for the lyrics. On making contact Yarrow gave Lipton half the songwriting credit, and he still gets royalties from 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; their 1962 recording of "Puff" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent two weeks atop the Billboard easy listening chart in early 1963.  It also reached number ten on Billboard's R&B chart.

source: (wikipedia)

Puff the Magic Dragon

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

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 whene'are 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 Honalee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

Dragons live forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant strings make way for other toys.
One sad 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 Honalee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

Peter, Paul and Mary performing "Puff, the Magic Dragon":

Posted in Beginner, Folk, Intermediate Tagged with: ,

Best Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Puff the Magic Dragon

This topic contains 25 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  John Cockman 3 months ago.

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #12678

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Puff the Magic Dragon! This lesson is by special request for my friend Gu. This song always makes me cry – my older daughter has a chipmunk that is very “real” like Puff.

    Puff the Magic Dragon

    #12684
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Beautiful, John. I listened to it FIVE times …and went through a whole box of tissues. 🙂 (sniff!)

    #12688
    Justine
    Justine
    Participant

    Thank you for this song, John! It brings back memories. You’re right, Scott…need tissues!

    #12691
    peggys
    peggys
    Participant

    Hey John, I’m getting “How Great Thou Art” when I look at the notes and tabs for both beginner and intermediate versions…Do you have to hold your mouth a different way for Puff?

    #12693
    peggys
    peggys
    Participant

    I might as well be a real pain and ask if you can tab it in “G”?

    #12701
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    Yayyyyy, havent heard it yet, but right after this word , me be rozin up me bow…Thanks John, it really means a lot to me .
    THANK YOUUUU,
    Gu

    #12703
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    Oh wow, thanks John, goose bumps and cleanex tissues, yup,
    Amazing,Gu

    #12721

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Scott and Justine, this one really did bring a tear. I have a recording of my daughters singing this when they were three and four years old. I will post it if I can find it!

    Peggy, thanks for the heads-up. I fixed the link and added tabs in G.

    Gu I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks again for the request.

    #12742
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Great John, that was wonderful. Your singing in that k was right on.
    I think I have heard of P. P. & M. from somewhere.
    I liked it! 🙂

    #12743
    Justine
    Justine
    Participant

    There was a popularization of folk music around 1960, Rock. P.P.& M were a part of that. Lots of people went out and bought acoustic guitars, myself included,
    so they could play chords and accompany some of these songs. Hope you can find that recording of Arwen and Lorien singing, John. I’m glad that this song was still popular when they were little girls.

    #12744
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    I was kidding Justine, I new who they were and other songs they did. 🙂

    #12745

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    My mother played a lot of PP&M for us when we were kids. Peter Yarrow is a very good songwriter, and has also written a good many gospel and inspirational songs.

    The girls fell in love with Puff the Magic Dragon on a visit to San Francisco when they were younger. The befriended a singer/songwriter by the name of Fred McCarty who was performing daily at the local Farmers’ Markets. We have really enjoyed his CDs! Here is his web site:

    http://www.fredmccarty.com/

    #12746
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Your mother John! O yea my mothers little brother told me about them. 🙂

    Your family is going to have so much to talk about, at every family get to gather. That is what me and my brothers and sisters do. Do you remember when… Always the same stories. Now we tell the kids and grandkids the same old stories and they are still LOL.
    John, your going to be a wonderful grandfather and it won’t be long! 🙂

    #12789

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Ha yes we already have lots of fun stories to tell. But give me ten years before we start talking about grandchildren, Rock! 🙂

    #12875

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    OK Here is the audio clip I promised! This is Arwen and Lorien singing Puff the Magic Dragon when they were 2 and 3 years old. It was so much fun to go back and listen to this! At the end you hear Lorien asking for a marshmallow. Isn’t it amazing what kids will do for a little reward? Please make audio recordings of your children while they are young. 🙂

    Click to Listen: Puff the Magic Dragon – Arwen and Lorien – 2004

    Arwen and Lorien 2004

    #12878
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Thats cool John, did you get it?

    #12880
    peggys
    peggys
    Participant

    That was so sweet! Thanks for sharing

    #12886
    Justine
    Justine
    Participant

    Glad you shared that, John! Your daughters are precious and so talented. I’ve seen them on various YouTube videos.
    Also, they seem to be good at a variety of instruments.

    Rock, I thought you were way too young to have heard of Peter, Paul, and Mary!

    #12887
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Wow John, that was very cute. The memories you and your family have and will have.
    Then the gran….

    #12892
    kevinj
    kevinj
    Participant

    Oh man, that clip of your daughters was precious. Time flies so fast; I could feel the acceleration just listening to it and looking at the cute picture. We should all pay more attention to life, if such is possible.

    #12895
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Justine, you are correct I have heard of them.

    Kidding! 🙂

    #12899
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    You are truly blessed, my friend. Beautiful!

    #12906
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    very sweet ! thanks :O)

    #48415
    peggys
    peggys
    Participant

    I had a long day at the office today…driving home with my ipod on I hear…Puff as one of my practice songs…it certainly lifted my mood…thanks John!  (I did actually play this one on my lunch today…a mid day music break always helps)

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by peggys peggys.
    #48431
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Peggy,  I have Puff in my mind for a few days now.  Hope ya’ll are doing good!

    #48543

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    Peggy, it is good to hear from you. Sorry I have been busy the last few days. I’m glad the song is a blessing! I get teary every time I play it. 🙂

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