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
Noble kings and princes would bow whenever 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



Lyrics submitted by exeventu


Puff (The Magic Dragon) song meanings
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83 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment:what's wrong with you people? it's not about weed. it's about childhood, and how you change when you get older.
    thatordinaryboyon March 29, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General Comment:It is NOT about marijuana, as many people think (a la Meet the Parents), for the simple reason that this song was around long before the drug culture of the 1960's took hold. It is about the loss of innocence in boys, the loss of imagination. Peter Yarrow said that it was partially a poem written by a friend in the late 50's lamenting the loss of innocence and partially his own writing (as well as the melody). Beautiful melody, I love the acoustic sound. One of my favorites since I was about 4.
    exeventuon June 13, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:I COMPLETELY agree that this song is about loss of innocence NOT weed... what the hell is wrong with you people.. not every song is about sex or drugs... and I don't know who considers smoking weed as "losing their innocence"... "A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys."... please find me a quote about loss of innocence = smoking weed in this song.. thats what I thought.
    Champagne Dreamon April 07, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:This site (SongMeanings) is slowly losing its legitimacy--way to many morons chiming in with "its about drugs dude..."

    Hey, here's a thought: STFU.
    wheckson September 13, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:
    I work with young children. This is very much an example of how kids imagination works. Pirate Ships, Kings/princes, a magical land of Hona Lee... These are all classic childhood imagery. Puff is a great name for an imaginary Dragon friend, and a dragon has protection imagery. Like most imaginary friends he slowly becomes less a part of jackie's life.

    I think this song has great insight into how a child grows and the way we lose our innocence and become adults.
    lysander78on September 04, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:I dare any of you to listen to this song while alone and sing along.

    Someone asked "why would he bring the dragon sealing wax?"

    Puff was an imaginary friend, but he probably had some sort of medium: like a "dragon" he made out of strings, sealing wax and "other fancy stuff." Then he'd pretend he was going on adventures with him, like visiting kings and scaring away pirates. Eventually the kid grew up and stopped playing with it, so it ceased to "roar"/live. Eventually it started to fall apart ("green scales fell like rain") so the parents moved it into the garage...or threw it away ("sadly slipped into his cave").

    I can relate to this. When I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend that was basically the rocking horse I sat on 24/7 as a toddler.
    Malumultimuson November 16, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:While this song may have what appear to be drug references to stoners and others who are so drugged up that they can't think clearly, the song was written as a children's song pure and simple. After rumors that Peter Yarrow was actually singing about marijuana, the band started performing the Star Spangled Banner at concerts stopping at different times to explain how past lines could be about drugs, to show how ludicrous the claimes were.
    medcob12on March 25, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I completly agree with all you people that say this is NOT about marijuana. Yes, i have smoked pot before. But seriously people, there is no need to be obsurd. It is so short sighted to presume that every song is about drugs, sex or violence. This is simply a beautifully pure song about children growing up, losing imagination and what it is to be a child. I knew this is a kid, and it still rings true to me today. It is indeed lamenting the transition into adulthood, as a previous user mentioned. And how sad the last few verses are. It creates a perfect atmosphere of the sadness involved with leaving childhood, and the non-complex world. We all sympathise with the dragon, and each one of us laments that part of us that died.

    I must say it is unfortunate that these lyrics are able to be interpreted as about marijuana. They were never meant to be.
    Viscuson September 27, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:considering this song was first performed in 1961, i highly doubt the vietnam reference. Also, this song was originally a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, who then gave Peter Yarrow his lyrics who proceeded to make it into a song. I also highly doubt it is a marijuana reference because Leonard lipton based his poem on the Ogden Nash poem, "The Tale of the Custard dragon" (eecs.harvard.edu/~keith/poems/…) which is cleary not a marijuana reference.
    thepriceiswrong.on March 28, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I remember this song used to make me cry when I was like 7, my dad would play it on his guitar for my little sister because she loved it
    A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys. Painted wings and giant's 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!
    as a second grader those lines broke my heart!!! Even now at 20, I get a little misty-eyed at the song...I don't want to grow up and leave my imagination behind! Also those who believe this song is about drugs are probably on drugs themselves...if Peter Paul and Mary (the writters of the song) says it's not about drugs (and seeing as how they hardly seem to type to light up a doobie) then it's probably NOT!
    antidisneysequelon December 05, 2006   Link

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