Peter Yarrow, the co-writer of the 1963 children’s song “Puff the Magic Dragon,” says he is disappointed with the recent spoof of his tune that targets President-elect Barack Obama.


Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman, a candidate for Republican National Committee chairman, included “Barack the Magic Negro” on a CD sent to RNC members for Christmas.       

The song was first played on conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in 2007 and was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation’s longtime mistreatment of African-Americans.


“Barack the Magic Negro” was described by Saltsman as “political satire,” but Yarrow disagrees. He wrote the following in response to the controversy.


The sending of a Christmas greeting by Chip Saltsman to the members of the Republican National Committee that includes a recording of the so-called parody, “Barack the Magic Negro” is not only offensive, it is shocking and saddening in the extreme. It flies in the face of America’s deeply held hope for a new era in which common ground and mutual respect characterize the exchanges between our national leaders.

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