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I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS Lyrics by John Rox, Sung by Gayla Peevey

Updated: Jan 25

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas Song


"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" was recorded by Gayla Peevey in 1953.


Fun lyrics from a child's point of view about wanting only a hippopotamus and creeping down the stairs on Christmas morning, and the "joy and what surprise" upon seeing the hippo hero.


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I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas Lyrics


In the song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," the lyrics fervently express a desire for a Christmas gift that's far from conventional: only a hippopotamus. The song emphasizes that only a hippopotamus will do, dismissing traditional Christmas toys like a doll or a "dinky tinker toy".


The singer imagines the oh what joy they will have on Christmas morning "creeping down the stairs" and the joy and what surprise they'd experience on Christmas morning upon finding a real-life hippo hero standing by the front door waiting for them.


Even when others question the practicality of such a gift—bringing up issues like the hippo's diet or where to house it—the singer is convinced that Santa Claus won't mind and that they can keep the hippo in the two car garage.

The Enduring Appeal of the Song


"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" has captivated audiences since its release in the 1950s. Its catchy tune and whimsical lyrics make it a family favorite, ensuring that it's a staple in Christmas playlists year after year.


For many, the song brings back childhood memories of writing wish lists to Santa Claus, filled with unconventional and imaginative gifts, much like the hippopotamus the singer longs for.


Given its everlasting popularity, it's no surprise that many children over the decades have said they want a hippopotamus and expect to see their "own hippo hero" standing by the front door Christmas morning.


A Window into the Imagination of a Child on Christmas Morning Creeping Down the Stairs


The song's request for a hippo hero standing on Christmas morning taps into the vivid imaginations that children—and those young at heart—often have.


What makes this song particularly engaging is its focus on the spirit of Christmas wishes, which don't have to be restricted to the ordinary or expected.

In a season often filled with common gift ideas like toys, gadgets, and clothing, the plea for a hippopotamus serves as a delightful reminder that sometimes the most unexpected wishes capture the magic of the season best.

Lyrics Written by


I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas lyrics were written by John Rox, who worked in the music industry composing other songs, but none achieved the same level of enduring popularity as "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas."

Performed by


Gayla Peevey recorded other songs, although none achieved the same level of fame as "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." Later in life, she transitioned out of music and focused on other aspects of her life.




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