I saw a Peter, Paul, and Mary on PBS TV last night. I love them! Of course, they played "Puff, the Magic Dragon" to a group of children. Some of the children appeared solemn. PP&M seemed to think that making the last verse "Puff ... lives by the sea", instead of "lived", would be a help. However, as someone who used to cry everytime I heard this song, this change is no help at all. The reason the song made me cry was that I feel it as a song about the lost of friendship, and being alone and lonely. It might especially affect me because I was an army brat; we never lived anywhere more than 3 years when we were growing up. Changing the tense just makes it even worse, if anything, because it implies Puff is still lonely.
I finally wrote my own ending, and now when I hear the song, I don't cry, because I remember my verse. Here it is for anybody else who wants a happy ending for this song.:
Puff's Happy Ending
copyright 1983 Patricia M. Shannon
If Puff could see the future, he would not be so sad;
for Jackie soon will marry, and have a little lad.
He will tell his son why his own youth was not a bore,
then Puff the magic dragon, will have a friend once more.