I don’t know of too many hit songs within memory that have somehow seamlessly transitioned to becoming a traditional tune. But it seems that Peter, Paul, and Mary’s ditty, “Puff The Magic Dragon” has become one of those familiar tunes that could be right out of Mother Goose.
A student requested this song and it was a great candidate for a simple solo arrangement so I made up a tab in C. I also included the bare-bones melody version for those that want something more straight-forward or would like to take a stab at an arrangement themselves.
In a song like this where the melody is sparse and happens to fit on the highest string of the ukulele, it’s very easy to add chord strums into the gaps. The trick with filling out a song is keeping the melody as the highest note. As you can see for the Em strum on “dra-GON” I had to cut off the highest note in the chord. Otherwise it would end up covering the G melody note.
I wrote an article that gives an overview of solo arranging for uke, but if you want to really dive into the style with a well thought out lesson plan and a fabulous teacher, check out The Ukulele Way by James Hill.