I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Words and music by John Rox
performed by Gayla Peevey (1953)


I am often asked questions about the ''Hippo Song.''
I hope, on this page, to answer some of those questions
and provide links to sources for the recording itself.

I finally found a source for sheet music for "Hippo" and "Ears"! At musicroom.com A special 'thank you' to my friend Bill for providing me with a source where you can download a (zipped) .wav file of
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas- sung by Gayla Peevey.
Thank you, Bill!
Or, you may listen to an unzipped wav file (305K) by clicking HERE.
If you would like the song in MP3 format, (1.8 MB) click HERE.

NEW! Many of you have asked... Are My Ears on Straight in MP3 Format (1.2 MB)

Q. What is the tie-in between the "Hippo Song" and the Oklahoma City Zoo?
A. The song was not written specifically for the Oklahoma Zoo in order to get a Hippo, but it just happened that when the song came out they needed a hippo for the zoo and thought it would be a natural tie in. So the media encouraged people (kids mostly) to send in their nickels and dimes to buy "Gayla" a hippo for Christmas. Those nickels and dimes bought Matilda who was flown in to Oklahoma City, and after she was presented to Gayla, she in turn donated her to the Oklahoma City Zoo. You can read about it HERE.

Q. What do you know about Gayla Peevey?
A. Besides recording ''Hippo'' and its flip side, ''Are my Ears on Straight?'', she also recorded several other novelty songs, including ''Angel in a Christmas Play'', ''Got a Cold in my Node for Christmas'', and others.
At 16, she changed her name to Jamie Horton and recorded ''My Little Marine''.

I received an email from Gayla Peevey, and she would like to share this with you:

''I live in San Diego, Ca. with my husband of 36 years. We have a grown daughter who is a staff songwriter for Disney. Her professional name is Sydney Forest. I graduated from San Diego State University , and got a teaching credential, but didn't like teaching, so I quit and went into advertising. I had my own cottage ad agency for about 15 years. I was a media buyer, wrote and produced a lot of jingles, radio spots, etc. Now, I am having a great time writing songs, painting (watercolor mostly) , and reading books. Of course, church is a big part of our lives. We attend a Baptist church and enjoy being part of the music ministry there. It's been a wonderful life so far, I feel really blessed.''

Q. Where, o' where, can I get a recording?
A. The song is included on Dr. Demento's The Greatest
Novelty Records of All Time Vol. 6: Christmas, various
artists (Rhino). It was released in vinyl in 1985 and on CD
in 1995. I believe the CD is available online at CD Now. (Just put Dr Demento in the search box.)
It is also included on Oldies for a Cool Christmas,
but not by Gayla Peevey.
I have, upon occasion, seen a copy of the record up for auction at eBay.

If you have any other information regarding the song,
please email me at lisanne@hyperchat.com
and I will add it to this page.

The delightful 3D rendering of a Hippo is by:
Jeremy Birn at www.3dRender.com. Thank you, Jeremy.