A Snopes article explaining that the song “Puff the Magic Dragon” is about the loss of childhood innocence (and not, as apparently some folks assume, about drugs).
I first heard the song as a kid, though, and while I loved it then, it never occurred to me that it had anything to do with the loss of innocence (or with drugs either, but nevermind that). Took me a moment, as the adult I now am, to figure out why. The song is only about loss if innocence if you assume it’s actually about Jackie Paper.
But it was always clear to me that it was the dragon’s story. And Jackie Paper ditches that dragon without a backward glance. From Puff’s point of view, the story isn’t losing innocence; it’s about losing–about being betrayed by–your best friend.
I mean, what kind of guy abandons his best buddy and leaves him to slink off into a cave and die alone? You don’t lose your innocence for doing that; you lose your soul.
Not that I’m, ummm, bitter, or anything.