Hippopotamuses and other Christmas wants

Following on my most recent Christmas music posting, focusing on the unusual (or actively silly), Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky reminded me about “All I Want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus” (a.k.a. “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”), a magnificently silly holiday song.

From a Christmas songs site:

“All I want for Christmas is a hippopotamus” was written by John Rox and Bruce Whatley in 1950. This song was sung by 10 year old Gayla Peevey to raise funds for the Oklahoma city zoo to buy a hippopotamus. This song has also been performed by the Jonas Brothers.

You can watch YouTube performances by Peevey, with the images taken from Shirley Temple movies, here and here. I’ll get to the Jonas Brothers is a moment.

The lyrics:

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
Don’t want a doll, no dinky tinker toy
I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy.

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don’t think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won’t have to use our dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door
That’s the easy thing to do.

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh, what joy and what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there.

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, no rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too.

Mom says the hippo would eat me up, but then
Teacher says a hippo is a vegetarian
There’s lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I’d feed him there and wash him there
And give him his massage.

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh, what joy and what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see a hippo hero standing there.

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too.

Now the Jonas Brothers, with “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, viewable here. Alongside this is their song “All I Want for Christmas is the Girl of My Dreams”, viewable here. (Check out Brielle Banning’s reaction, “All I Want for Christmas is a (Jonas) Brother”, viewable here.)

The great monument of wanting-for-Christmas songs is undoubtedly the supremely annoying “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”, written in 1944, first recorded by Spike Jones & His City Slickers in 1948). Wikipedia entry here, a performance on YouTube here.

Years later came “All I Want for Christmas is You”, with recordings by Vince Vance and the Valiants (1989), famously by Mariah Carey (1994, YouTube here), Michael Buble, and others. (Note: commenter jedwardcooper points out, correctly, that the Vince Vance and Mariah Carey songs are different, sharing only the title, and that there are still other songs with the same title.)

I’m not really into any of this, except of course for the hippopotamuses.

3 Responses to “Hippopotamuses and other Christmas wants”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Wendy Thrash on Facebook:

    Thanks, Arnold. I had always thought the song must be British. Score one for US.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    John Dorrance on Facebook:

    There’s also ‘I Want an Elephant For Christmas’, which is the knockoff I knew growing up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YdiVtWQiOg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  3. jedwardcooper Says:

    The Vince Vance and the Valiants “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is actually a different song than Mariah Carey’s song. Foghat and Tony Bennett have also recorded separate songs under the same title.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: