The Twelve Songs of Christmas: “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” (Gayla Peevey)

You may be asking yourself one of two questions: “Why does this exist?” or “Why are you writing about this?” You might even be asking both. Check out the song first, and then all will be revealed.

Ok, so now you know it’s real. You’re probably still wondering why I’m writing about it, though.

The answer? Because it’s just so damn bizarre.

Peevey was ten years old when she recorded this song, if you can believe that. And yes, that’s her in that video. I know, I know, that voice doesn’t sound like it belongs to a ten-year-old, but what can I say? The fifties were a very strange time indeed. And from the research I’ve done I’ve determined that the above video is from The Ed Sullivan Show, so you know it’s legit. Everything about this song is just so insane that there was no way I could pass up featuring it in this series.

There is of course another reason I chose it (there’s always a catch, after all!). I didn’t just stumble on this song by searching for Christmas songs about hippopotomi (who would even do that?). No, I heard this first in a relatively recent Christmas movie that instantly became my favorite, and which most people don’t even know exists: Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.

I’m not joking.


In yet another bizarre turn of events in this post, this was a Lifetime movie. Lifetime, of all networks, made a Christmas movie featuring an Internet meme and a crazy novelty Christmas song. The real Grumpy Cat was in this movie, with stunts being performed by a puppet likeness and a voice provided by Aubrey Plaza, because, of course. Everything about it is too ridiculous to be true, but here we are, talking about a real movie. It’s in the spirit of other holiday movies that don’t feel like holiday movies. It takes place on Christmas Eve and has Christmas music and feel-good messages, but it’s more Home Alone than… really any other Christmas movie (other than Die Hard, of course).

Actually, I guess it’s sort of Home Alone in a mall. There you go. There’s your description. You should probably watch the movie.

So there you have it. One of the strangest Christmas songs in existence, presented to you for your listening pleasure. Before we go, though, I have one last thing to tell you, if you’re willing to believe one more insane thing today.

This song has been covered. More than once.


Update: The New York Times published an article about Peevey and her song a mere eleven days after this post.


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4 thoughts on “The Twelve Songs of Christmas: “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” (Gayla Peevey)

  1. Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll
    just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am
    an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.
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    1. Hey, thanks for the compliment, sorry there was trouble with your first comment. As far as advice, here’s what I’ve got for you:

      1. Practice! The more you write, the better you’ll get, especially if you can get good, honest feedback from people you trust. If you look back at the posts on our blog, especially mine, you’ll see (I hope) a noticeable improvement in the quality of the writing. Time and practice leads to significant improvement.

      2. Don’t be afraid to try new things. We’ve restructured ourselves here more than once and have added and changed various series and features. You want to provide the best content you can, and doing so means experimenting to see what feels right and what people seem to respond to best.

      3. Self-promotion is key! Share it with your friends and family, post links in relevant message boards, spread the word with Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, whatever social media networks you can. You might even consider making a Facebook page like the one we have, which you should go “like.”

      4. Find your niche. I know this is a bit hypocritical given that we don’t have any sort of narrow focus here. But you’ll notice some trends — typoattack often covers sports; I tend to work with pop culture, especially music, and posts about writing and the writing process. Find what you’re good at and what you enjoy talking about and work from there.

      5. The most important thing is to have fun. We’ve been at this for six years and counting, and this blog is truly a labor of love. We enjoy ourselves and what we do here. And that’s the key. So whatever you decide to do make sure its something you’re doing for yourself and because you find it fulfilling.

      Thanks for your comment, and I hope some of this helps you out. Happy blogging!


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