51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 49: Gayla Peevey – I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

It’s that time of year when many of us tune in our ears to festive songs; many of which only make it out once a year (just like Father Christmas). I don’t know about you, but I’m sure I can hear the distant sound of sleigh bells. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t have had that final glass of sherry last night?

Hold on to your seats, and most of all your hats, because we’re about to take my music time machine as far back as it has been during our trip.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past poster

Here we are in the year 1953, where we’re about to meet a ten-year-old girl who was about to get an unusual Christmas present that I’m happy I didn’t have to gift wrap.

How cute is that song? And did you check out what happened at the end of the video? How cool was that?

Also known as The Christmas Hippo Song, it was thought to have been released to raise funds to buy the zoo in Ponca City, in Oklahoma, a hippopotamus. However, in a radio interview in 2007, Gayla clarified that the song was not originally recorded as a fundraiser. Instead, a local promoter picked up on the popularity of the song and launched a campaign to present her with an actual hippo on Christmas Day! That’s a gift with a difference, wouldn’t you say?

The song made it all the way to number 24 on the Billboard magazine pop charts, and Gayla had already decided to donate her gift to the zoo. I don’t blame her. I’d have done exactly the same thing. I mean where on earth do you keep a hippopotamus over Christmas? 🤔

Over the years since the song was first released, it still attracts a lot of attention, and there are a few versions of the song on the internet.

Last week, I asked everyone to share the first of their three favourite festive songs. This week showcase the second of your favourite songs by leaving a link to it in the comments.

Thank you to everyone who left a link to their first favourite festive song. And, a big thank you to Marie and Kat who both published a post about a favourite festive song.

Next week I’ll be showcasing my penultimate song for this feature. I hope you can join me in finding out what it is.

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