A little bit of fun

While listening to a favorite podcast of ours, Coverville, and researching and writing the first post of the day (which I have to go back and rewrite because it wasn’t saved – Bollocks!) we heard this great song.

It was actually a cover of “Puff the Magic Dragon” which was a television show in the late 1970’s but originally based off a song by Peter, Paul and Mary, (published in 1963) which I have also come to find out where actually based on a poem written in 1959 by a Cornell University student, Leonard Lipton, who based it off another poem by Ogden Nash, “Custard the Dragon”. So in other words, it is totally and wholeheartedly American now.

Peter, Paul & Mary Puff, The Magic Dragon Lyrics

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Little Jackie paper loved that rascal puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. ohPuff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whenever they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.

Well, whenever we listen to Coverville, we always pay special attention to the songs we are familiar with but that are sung in a different language. Today, the cover of Puff was sung by someone who sounded French when they sang, but who sang the song clearly in German. This threw us for a loop, so we waited patiently for the host, Brian Ibbott, to tell us who the artist was.It was Marlene Dietrich.

Marlene Dietrich from Shanghai Express (1939) by Josef von Sternberg.

Yes, that Marlene Dietrich, of early Hollywood glamour and fame!
After being born in (Rote Insel in Schöneberg) Berlin in 1901, and beginning her acting career in Germany in 1922, she immigrated to the United States in the 1930’s becoming an American citizen in 1939. Dietrich had an extensive career in film, theater and as  a  cabaret star, working with Burt Bacharach. In her later life she became increasingly private, never leaving her Paris apartment and only taking select visitors. She passed away in 1992 and her body was moved from Paris to Berlin where it is now burried at the Städtischer Friedhof III, Berlin-Schöneberg, Stubenrauchstraße 43–45, in Friedenau Cemetery.
For her complete filmography, look here.
This is the song we heard:
Paff, der Zauberdrachen, lebte am Meer,
auf einem Inselparadies, doch das ist schon lange her.
Der kleine Jacky Papel liebte den Paff so sehr
und ritt auf Paff vergnügt und froh oft über Land und Meer.
Paff, der Zauberdrachen, lebte am Meer,
auf einem Inselparadies, doch das ist schon lange her.
Und lockte sie die Ferne, schwamm Paff bis nach Shanghai.
Von seinem Rücken rief dann laut der Jacky froh: „Ahoi!“
Die Schiffe der Piraten, die nahmen gleich reißaus,
und alle riefen: „Paff in Sicht, wir segeln schnell nach Haus´.
Paff, der Zauberdrachen, lebte am Meer,
auf einem Inselparadies, doch das ist schon lange her.
Paff, der Zauberdrachen, lebte am Meer,
[  From: http://www.elyrics.net ]
auf einem Inselparadies, doch das ist schon lange her.
Ein Drachen, der lebt ewig, doch kleine Boys, oh nein!
Und so kam für Paff der Tag, und er war ganz allein.
Jacky kam nie wieder, einsam lag Paff am Strand
und hieb mit seinem Drachenschwanz hoch in die Luft den Sand.
Er weinte Drachentränen, traurig war sein Blick,
doch seine Tränen brachten ihm den Jacky nie zurück.
Weil er mit Klein-Jacky den besten Freund verlor,
schloss er sich in die Höhle ein und kam nie mehr hervor.
Paff, der Zauberdrachen, lebte am Meer,
auf einem Inselparadies, doch das ist schon lange her.

Pretty interesting stuff to learn on a Sunday afternoon.

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