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!