All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

Changing a Classic, for the Better


B loves to play Peter, Paul, and Mary for Matthew.  I am not a fan, to say the least, but I sure do love “Puff the Magic Dragon.”  I’ve never listened too closely to the lyrics – I’ve just always loved the melody and the refrain/chorus.  Because B loves P, P, & M so much, it seemed like a slam dunk to put a copy of the “Puff the Magic Dragon” board book in B’s stocking this year.

B was very excited!

Until he read the book.

It’s very sad.  I mean – it makes me cry at the end.  I can’t read/sing the whole thing to Matthew without breaking down in tears.  The idea of Old Puff fading away into his cave because Jackie Paper grows up and away from him breaks my heart.  The new (2007) board book has beautiful drawings that imply that old Puff sprung back to life and made a new friend, but there are no lyrics to say that.

B asked me to sing the book to Matthew tonight at bedtime and of course I cried, even though we noticed that Puff had a new friend at the end.  It just breaks my heart so much.  After putting Matthew to sleep, I promptly grabbed his book and came out to get to work.  I just could not let this book/song that my son will grow up with end in such sadness.

New, additional lyrics were needed if I was ever going to read/sing this book again.  And it is worth reading and singing to my son!

I looked up the lyrics to make sure that the book wasn’t just condensed and it was not – the song ends just as the book does (but without the implication that old Puff made a new friend and lived happily ever after).

I came up with happy, conclusive lyrics that will tell my child(ren) that old Puff lived happily ever after.

As he should.

Because he’s a wonderful old dragon who brings much joy to us all!

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Author: Courtney

Hi, there, I’m Courtney. I never planned to stay home with my kids, but I got sucked into motherhood when my first baby came into our lives after years of infertility and multiple rounds of IVF. His brother followed closely behind, something we didn’t plan on after having such a rough road with achieving parenthood the first time around. My boys are IVF cycle twins, conceived on the same day but born two years and one day apart (they were both transferred on the same day in October, but with two years between them). My boys are the best of friends and my husband is a terrific husband, father, and most importantly… friend. He fully supported my desire to stay home (“I just wanted it to be your idea and not mine, I totally want you to stay home and raise our kids!”) and encourages me in everything I do. I am a lover of projects, spreadsheets, fitness, healthy cooking and eating, crafts, selling my stuff on FB (HA!), and the outdoors. If I’m active, I’m pretty darn happy!

15 thoughts on “Changing a Classic, for the Better

  1. That song has always made me cry even when I was a little girl. I always knew Jackie Paper grew up and Puff faded away….I will have to check out the new book with the new ending….I kind of avoid listening to it for now….

  2. What a cliffhanger – you didn’t share the lyrics!!! 🙂

  3. I am a big Peter Paul & Mary fan because my mom played it for me when I was little. And I met Paul once 🙂

  4. Saddest children’s song ever. What are the new lyrics you wrote???

  5. Like the others said… we want the new lyrics!!! 🙂 The original is very sad indeed 😦

  6. Yes, we need the new lyrics!!! But I thought it was supposed to be a thinly veiled metaphor for pot smoking being illegal? LOL. I probably watch too many movies. I’ve never listened to the lyrics, so what do I know?

    • I posted them in a comment to my post. I’m embarrassed… and don’t want to be sued. I figured a comment was better than putting them in the searchable post. HA!

      I don’t see the metaphor to post smoking being illegal – and I’ve tried to see it. You know my politics 😉 and I believe in the legalization of marajuana, so you know that I wasn’t looking at the lyrics half-blind wanting to not find a connection. HA!

      • I’m actually libertarian enough to be okay with it being legal. But like I said, I haven’t ever heard all the lyrics anyway. I get my information 100% from my pot smoking friends in college, so I’m sure it’s reliable. Ha! And ❤ your lyrics!

  7. Okay okay okay. Here are my cheesy additions 😉 The book shows Puff playing with a little girl, and a grown man looking on. B and I assumed the “man” is a grown Jackie Paper and the girl is his daughter. With our boy cat’s name being “Jack,” I used our girl cats’ names for the daughter’s name. It’s corny – but it works!

    Months and years flew by,
    And Puff was sadder still,
    Alone and cold in his cave,
    Was not for him ideal.

    Old Puff went out to wander,
    And found a new best friend,
    Her name was Lily-Jane Paper,
    And Puff saw Jackie again!

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