08 March 2009

Puff the Magic Dragon

On Friday night at a shisha bar, we found ourselves staring admiringly at Puff the Magic Dragon.

Puff was a magnificent Middle Eastern man who could emit billowy clouds of white smoke. (As opposed to our best-effort, but straggly little streams.) In fact, he is so impressive that we thought he should be hired at weddings in place of the unromantic dry ice machine.

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This is the version of Puff the Magic Dragon that I read with my niece many years ago (we are only seven years apart). I think we picked it up from an abandoned bag of stuff at the lift lobby. Update: Cousin Ms T told me that this was a prize that she won in kindergarten! It was pretty much in the same condition that you see below - weathered with weakened spine. Sadly, it got lost over years of growing up and spring cleaning.

When Mr S tried to suggest a few weeks ago that my childhood book was "the same" as »the popular song by Peter, Paul and Mary, I protested loudly. My book is the 1965 edition by Paul Newman and Tony Tallerico and he is not the same Paul of the song ok?

After some research, I now reluctantly concede that my book is probably inspired by the song.

I love them both, but they are still not the same.

Note: I believe my Newman version is already out-of-print. In modern versions of Puff the Magic Dragon, Peter Yarrow from the trio and »Lenny Lipton - who wrote the poem which later becames the song's lyrics - both have a stake.

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