Hearing Christmas songs in every corner is one way to find out that it’s the holiday season. And each year, many artists come out with Christmas songs and albums (Michael Buble, we’re looking at you). However, the Christmas songs from the good old days still have a different ring to it.
One of those forever green songs that comes to mind is “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” a novelty Christmas song written by John Rox (John Herring) in 1953. The song gained popularity when it was performed by 10-year-old child star Gayla Peevey, who was a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the time. The popularity of the song led to an unexpected and charming historical footnote: the local community in Oklahoma City embraced the song’s theme and started a fundraising campaign to buy Peevey a real hippopotamus, which she then donated to the Oklahoma City Zoo. The hippo, named Matilda, became a significant attraction at the zoo.
The video is extremely special because it has two different versions of the song. The first part is the original recording of the 1953 classic. Peevey is still a child in the video, and it is a black and white version. However, the second part of the video shows Gayla 60 years later. The video is recently taken where she is 73 years old. And even after 60 years, the former child star knows every word to her famous song.
“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” has since remained a popular, lighthearted addition to Christmas music playlists, particularly in the United States. Its catchy tune and whimsical lyrics continue to delight audiences, especially children, during the holiday season. Watch the video below and please leave us a Facebook comment to let us know what you thought!
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