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They Don't Write Songs Like This Anymore!

White Rabbit

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all.
Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall.

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call.
Call Alice, when she was just small.

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice, I think she'll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "Off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said:
"Feed your head,
Feed your head"

The classic 60s song written by Grace Slick and performed by Jefferson Airplane was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s 1865 book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its 1871 sequel Through the Looking-Glass (plus – just possibly – a little help from certain illegal substances).

Note for all those with too much time on their hands: Yes I know that some of the details are wrong. Although events in Carroll’s books, such as changing size after eating mushrooms or drinking an unknown liquid, are referenced in the song, and Alice, the hookah-smoking caterpillar, the White Knight, the Red Queen, and the Dormouse are all also mentioned, some of the other details are incorrect. The White Knight does not talk backwards, as the song states, the Queen of Hearts, not the Red Queen, says "Off with her head!" (although, of course, the queen of hearts, as a playing card, is a red queen). Lastly, the final lines of the song, Remember what the Dormouse said, "Feed your head, feed your head," erroneously quotes the Dormouse.

Puff The Magic Dragon

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

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

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 whene’er they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name.

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.

The lyrics for Puff, the Magic Dragon were based on a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, a nineteen-year-old student who was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled Custard the Dragon. Lipton passed his poem on to friend, Peter Yarrow, who created music and more lyrics to make the poem into the song. In 1961, Yarrow joined Paul Stookey and Mary Travers to form the singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary. The trio incorporated the song into their live performances before recording it in 1962.

The song is believed by many to refer to smoking marijuana, due to references to paper, dragon ("draggin'"), puff (smoke), traveling "along the cherry lane" (the burning ember of a cigarette or joint is called a cherry, and moves up the cigarette's length as it burns), and Hanalei (Honalee) is a town in Hawaii known for marijuana use. This theory led to the song becoming a hippie anthem. The authors of the song have repeatedly and vehemently denied any intentional drug reference.

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