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The lyrics for "Puff, the Magic Dragon" are based on a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, then a 19-year-old Cornell University student. Lipton was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled "Custard the Dragon", about a "realio, trulio little pet dragon". Yarrow found it and wrote the lyrics based on the poem. After the song was released, Yarrow searched for Lipton and gave him half credit for the song. In 1961, Peter Yarrow joined Paul Stookey and Mary Travers to form Peter, Paul and Mary. The group incorporated the song into their live performances before recording it in 1962; their 1962 recording of "Puff the Magic Dragon" reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent two weeks atop the Billboard easy listening chart in early 1963. It also reached number ten on Billboard's R&B chart.