Sunday, 8 December 2013

Puff the Magic Dragon (1973)

In 1963 Peter, Paul and Mary made a recording of Puff the Magic Dragon. It's a song about a dragon who finds a playmate who then grows up and leaves the dragon alone. Ten years later I was hearing this song played on my Dad's reel to reel* for the first time. 

Rumours went around that the song referenced drugs but the band consistently denied this was the case. Of course, age 5 this went over my head. I enjoyed the tune and made my Dad play it again and again. I pretty much knew all the words. Dad had a very expensive record player so I'm guessing that he recorded this song onto a compilation tape that he made for me but I can only remember "Puff". 

My small fingers were ideally suited to fiddling with the machine. Dad taught me how to feed the tape through, wipe a tape with a magnet, which seemed like magic to me and splice a tape using a razor blade. 

The machine had pride of place on the side board next to the television and the fish tank. In order that it didn't get filled with dust, my Mum provided a cotton place mat with lace edges with which it was reverentially covered when we had finished using it. 

*The image of the reel to reel is from this site -

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