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The authors of "Puff the magic dragon": Peter, Poul and Mary

Updated on January 17, 2014

Peter, Poul & Mary has unfortunately forever ended, after the death of Mary Travers in 2009. The group was originally formed in 1961 and they quickly gained fame as a folk group. A lot of their biggest hits was written to them by their friends, but the original artists has then later recorded their own song and published it. As examples can be mentioned John Denvers "Leaving on a jet plane" which was written by John, for Peter, Poul & Mary, which got a number 1 hit with it, but today most people remember John Denvers version, even though Peter, Poul & Mary published their version many years before Denvers.

Another example could be Bob Dylans "Blowing in the wind", which again was written to the trio by Bob Dylan, but later rerecorded by Dylan and published.

But the song the trio is most famous for is without a doubt "Puff the magic dragon", which was poem written by an old schoolmate of Peter Yarrow, and Peter then picked it up and wrote the immortal composition for it. A lot of myth surround the number, because in the sixties it was forbidden to talk about drugs, so the musicians had to use slang for it, like Bob Dylans "Hey mister Tambourine man, play a song for me", which was a metaphor for smoking pot. Likewise it was said that the song "Puff the magic dragon" was also about smoking pot, as it was sometimes referred to as "To puff the magic dragon", but it is nothing more than an Urban legend, as the poem was written way before, and is about lost childhood.

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    • hbruhn profile image
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      hbruhn 3 years ago

      @GrammieOlivia: You are not the only one...

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      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      Yes, these three were icons in the folk singing era. I miss that kind of music.....