16 votes

Puff the Magic Dragon

This link is to a children's TV show called, "Puff the Magic Dragon".

http://youtu.be/0FyhTBvLu4w

Johnny Draper, AKA Johnny Paper, has an anti-social issue so the family calls in the town's doctors who declare him a hopeless case- totally unfit for normal interaction in society. One doctor tells them they might hope for a miracle, but the other doctors make it known they frown on that. The doctors solve nothing.

I think it's fair to say that in today's America, this kid would be put on antidepressants, increasing his chances to someday commit suicide or worse (you fill in the blank).

In the end, the child learned he had to see the world not at face value, but deeper than that, face his fears, and come to realize he has more power than he imagined.

Johnny's problem was not physical, the problem was emotional and possibly spiritual. Therefore this seems logical- If you have a physical ailment, you go to physical therapy. If you have an emotional malady, then you might seek spiritual and/or emotional therapy.

It's a thought provoking cartoon. I saw many parallels to several different issues facing us today.

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Also worth noting- In the year 2000 Peter Yarrow (co-creator of Puff the Magic Dragon), from Peter Paul and Mary, started a program called "Operation Respect" which was intended to curb school violence through education of tolerance of others. I'm not sure Mr. Yarrow is a liberty person or not, but those ideas play into the "Live and Let Live" principles in a free society.




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This came to mind

Oregon family uses medical marijuana to manage son's autistic rage
http://www.kptv.com/story/20660400/medical-marijuana-used-to...

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That was tough to watch. I

That was tough to watch. I feel for all those involved. I hope the Feds don't take away the peace he has received from this mmj treatment.

The founders would be ashamed at us for what we are putting up with.

When I watched Peter, Paul, and MAry sing it to kids...

When I saw a clip of them singing to kids, I knew it could NOT be anything but a children's song. They sang to children as if it was for them.

Of course, that is not to say there can't be other meanings...but seems to me the primary reason is a kids song.

Exactly

I watched the video in it's entirety this morning and really enjoyed it. It was written in such a way which leaves a wide range of parallels, which to me makes it exceptional.

To me, it's not about drugs. To me, it's about getting over a hurdle while growing up.

The founders would be ashamed at us for what we are putting up with.

Marijuana, "Puff" and Children-random thoughts...

Even if it was about smoking marijuana, it is certainly a harmless and innocuous children's song and story, even compared with most of the Comic book and TV fare in the late '50s, much less today!

Dicussing this today, the consumption of either marijuana or hashish, while not recommended for children, is almost harmless compared to the unbelievably potent and dangerous "antipsychotic" pharmatoxins that schoolchildren today are often prescribed!

"Puff, the Magic Dragon" also is a lovable and innocuous fantasy for children, far less vicious than their videogames (war)fare, most of it prefiguring-and desensitizing- young people to the anonymous mass killings we are now seeing with robotic drone aircraft!

In short, reservations about marijuana (and most other recreational "drugs") notwithstanding, the song controversy here is quite beside the point! It may even be parents (and media, schools, and doctors) then and now, are choosing worse alternatives!

PEACE AND FREEDOM!!

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be attacked successfully, it is to be defended badly". F. Bastiat

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, finally they attack you, and then you win"! Mohandas Gandhi

Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, 1959? 1962?

No Hanalei link for folk song ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’

The 1960s being what they were, however, any song based on oblique or allegorical lyrics was subject to reinterpretation as a "drug song," and so it was with "Puff." (For Peter, Paul & Mary, at least, the revelation that their song was "really" about marijuana came after the song had finished its chart run; other groups were not so fortunate, and accusations of "drug lyrics" caused some radio stations to ban songs such as the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" from their playlists.) "Puff" was an obvious name for a song about smoking pot; little Jackie Paper's surname referred to rolling papers; "autumn mist" was either clouds of marijuana smoke or a drug-induced state; the land of "Hanah Lee" was really the Hawaiian village of Hanalei, known for its particularly potent marijuana plants; and so on.

Leonard Lipton wrote the poem, "Puff the Magic Dragon, 1959:

["Puff" is about] loss of innocence, and having to face an adult world. It's surely not about drugs. I can tell you that at Cornell in 1959, no one smoked grass. I find the fact that people interpret it as a drug song annoying. It would be insidious to propagandize about drugs in a song for little kids.

Peter Yarrow (Leonard Lipton's college friend):

As the principal writer of the song, I can assure you it's a song about innocence lost. It's easier to interpret "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a drug song than "Puff, the Magic Dragon." This is just a funny rumor that was promulgated by Newsweek magazine [who ran a cover story about covert drug messages in pop music]. There is no basis for it. It's inane at this point and really unfortunate, because even in Hong Kong it's not played because of the allegation it's about drugs. But I assure you it's not.

When 'Puff' was written, I was too innocent to know about drugs. What kind of a mean spirited SOB would write a children's song with a covert drug message?

Mary Trebuchet "Peter, Paul & Mary" singers.

Peter wrote the song in 1958 [it was a poem written in 1959], and it is not about marijuana. Believe me, if he wanted to write a song about marijuana, he would have written a song about marijuana.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Thanks Mr. Twain for your

Thanks Mr. Twain for your insight. I can see how it could be interpreted as a drug song but if one were to watch the cartoon in it's entirety, I think it seems more logical that the story is about growing up and learning to deal with the difficulties of living in the real world.

Songs mean what they mean to you, meaning the individual listener. We interpret songs as we can relate them to our own life experiences. Even Ron Paul's messages can be related differently to different people, depending on what kind of issue they are focused on at that time.

The founders would be ashamed at us for what we are putting up with.

Agreed.

Agreed.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

That used to be me, but

That used to be me, but sometimes still is.

I like your quote;
"In the end, the child learned he had to see the world not at face value, but deeper than that, face his fears, and come to realize he has more power than he imagined."

love that song too