On this Day in Music History: March 16, 1963

On this Day in Music History: March 16, 1963

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Brought to you by Blackfire Research….On this day in 1963, American folk group, Peter, Paul and Mary, released their beloved single, “Puff The Magic Dragon.” The lyrics of the song were written by Leonard Lipton, a friend of Peter’s at Cornell University, back in 1959 while they were in school. “Puff” recounts the story of a little boy, Jackie Paper, and his imaginary dragon friend, Puff, who go on adventures together during Jackie’s childhood. But eventually, Jackie grows up, leaving Puff to retreat back into his cave, awaiting his next child companion. The song was an instant success, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming another standard in a broad series of Peter, Paul and Mary folk hits that dominated the 1960s. However, as early as 1964, speculation over the song’s true meaning arose, leading many to believe that the seemingly innocent lyrics about childhood and growing up actually serve as a veiled metaphor for smoking marijuana. The group, as well as the lyricist Lipton, have since vehemently denied the allegations. But the song, to this day, remains heavily associated with drug culture.

 

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