I had never heard this amazing song until my daughters 7th birthday. This was the second year she invited friends to the house to decorate our tree...and then head out for some christmas light love. For this birthday I had heard of a house that synced its light show to popular Christmas carols and even took over a radio station so the people could admire the show without catching cold. We arrived at the house...actually arrived about 2 blocks from the house and somewhat patiently waited our turn. I mean I did have ten 7 year old girls in the car...they are not usually the picture of patience. My song came on the radio before we made it to the house. It sounded like a little girl belting out a song about a Hippo. Yes that's right a Hippo. SHe wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas...and went through an entire set of instructions for how Santa could make her dream come true. It was an adorable...catchy...carol...that I had NEVER heard before. The girls were also enamored with this ditty. By the time we made it to the house we had heard the song at least 3 times. So when the house started to light up along with the tune we were able to sing right along.
I mean the house danced to Silent Night...Jingle Bell Rock...there was even some little song about not eating yellow snow....but I was in love with a Hippo. "Mom says a Hippo will eat me up but then, teacher says a Hippo is a vegetarian." I mean come on...even better after the party The Bg and I spent some time searching the internet for the story behind the carol. Turns out a little girl wrote the song, because their zoo was without Hippo. She thought she woudl write this song as a little fundraiser to help purchase a hippo for their zoo. Awwww...I just looked up what zoo got the hippo...and I am a little bit sad. Gayla Peevey recorded the song first and then a promoter heard the song and decided launch a campaign to give the ten year old Peevey a hippo. She got her hippo and donated it to the Ponca City Zoo...the hippo's name was Matilda. Nuts...I have spent the last seven years loving the endearing story behind this carol...now I find out that the story is bunk.
Oh well I still love the song... a local zoo still got a hippo because of the song. I think I might try to forget the promoter part, and just believe Gayla wanted a hippo so bad she wrote a song about it. Anyway...at least my favorite carol isn't one that has made it to the popular muzak reel the spins through all store during the holidays. So there you have it...my favorite Christmas carol is about a hippo and how easy it would be for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. If you haven't heard it it is a must listen!
To the moon and back,
Here is Gayla's rendition on
The Ed Sullivan Show (1953)
here is the song set to lights!