#Learn the Words to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas": A Guide for All Ages

#Learn the Words to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas": A Guide for All Ages


 Every holiday season, one song brings out the child in all of us - "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"! This guide will help folks of every age learn the words. Even if you think you can't remember lyrics, don't worry. We're here to make it simple and fun. We'll break down the song into easy-to-learn bits. In no time, you'll be singing along like a pro. Let's dive into the joyous world of this classic Christmas tune!

Learn the Words to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas": A Guide for All Ages

The Story Behind "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"

The Origins of the Song

The catchy holiday tune "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" has been a beloved favorite since its release in December 1953. The song was written by John Rox and performed by ten-year-old Gayla Peevey. It quickly gained popularity, reaching number 24 on Billboard Magazine's pop chart.

The inspiration for the song came from Peevey's desire for a unique Christmas gift - a hippopotamus. This wish turned into a statewide fundraising campaign, where children donated dimes to bring a real hippopotamus to the zoo. On December 5th, the campaign succeeded, and a hippopotamus named Mathilda arrived at the zoo.

The Inspiration for the Lyrics

The lyrics of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" perfectly capture the innocence and excitement of a child's Christmas wish. The song expresses a longing for a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy, rather than traditional toys like dolls or tinkertoys.

The whimsical nature of the lyrics resonates with both children and adults, reminding us of the joy and magic of the holiday season.

Black Hipopotamus (Photo by Pixabay)

(Source: Billboard Magazine)

Learn the Words to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas": A Guide for All Ages

Understanding the Lyrics

One of the most delightful and catchy holiday songs of all time is "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." This whimsical tune, written by John Rox and performed by Gayla Peevey when she was just ten years old, has captivated audiences since its release in December 1953. But what exactly do the lyrics mean? Let's dive in and analyze the verses and decode the chorus to gain a deeper understanding of this festive song.

Analyzing the Verses

The opening lines of the song, "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas, only a hippopotamus will do," immediately convey the singer's desire for a rather unusual gift. The lyrics express a child's single-minded wish for a hippopotamus, dismissing other conventional presents like dolls or toys. This imaginative desire adds a touch of whimsy to the song and showcases the boundless imagination and innocence of childhood.

In the following lines, "Don't want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy," the lyrics emphasize the singer's rejection of traditional toys. This reinforces the theme of wanting something out of the ordinary and highlights the child's unique and adventurous spirit. By expressing a preference for a hippopotamus, the song celebrates the power of imagination and encourages listeners to embrace their own extravagant dreams.

Decoding the Chorus

The chorus of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" further emphasizes the singer's unwavering desire for a hippopotamus. The repetition of the line "I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy" underscores the child's longing for companionship and joy. The choice of a hippopotamus as the desired playmate adds an element of surprise and humor to the song, as these animals are not typically associated with Christmas or playthings.

The chorus's lively and upbeat melody, combined with the catchy repetition of the desire for a hippopotamus, creates a sense of anticipation and excitement. It captures the essence of the holiday season, where dreams and wishes come to life.

As we explore the lyrics of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," we discover a song that celebrates the joy of unconventional desires and the power of imagination. It reminds us that the holiday season is a time for embracing our inner child and cherishing the magic of our dreams.

So, next time you hear this beloved holiday tune, take a moment to appreciate the whimsy and playfulness behind the lyrics. And who knows, maybe it will inspire you to dream big and ask for something extraordinary this Christmas.

Learn the Words to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas": A Guide for All Ages

Singing "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"

Selective Focus Photography of Man Preparing Food Beside Smiling Women and Kids (Photo by cottonbro studio)

Singing Christmas carols is a beloved tradition during the holiday season. One popular and catchy tune that people of all ages enjoy is "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." Whether you're singing it with friends and family or performing it as part of a choir, learning the words and practicing the song can be a fun and festive experience. In this section, we will provide you with some tips for practicing the song and singing techniques that can be applied by all ages.

Tips for Practicing the Song

When learning any new song, it's important to start with the basics. Here are some tips for practicing "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas":

  1. Listen to the song: Before attempting to sing the song, listen to a recording or find a video online. Familiarize yourself with the melody, rhythm, and overall feel of the song.

  2. Break it down: Divide the song into smaller sections and practice each section separately. This will help you focus on specific parts that may be challenging.

  3. Repeat, repeat, repeat: Repetition is key when learning a new song. Practice each section multiple times until you feel comfortable with the lyrics and melody.

  4. Sing along with the music: Once you feel confident with the individual sections, try singing along with the original recording or a karaoke version. This will help you work on your timing and phrasing.

  5. Record yourself: Use a smartphone or a voice recording device to record yourself singing the song. Listen to the recording and identify areas that need improvement. This will help you fine-tune your performance.

Singing Techniques for All Ages

Photo of Women Sitting on Orange Sofa (Photo by RF._.studio)

Whether you're a seasoned singer or a beginner, these singing techniques can enhance your rendition of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas":

  1. Warm up: Before singing, warm up your voice with some simple vocal exercises. This can include humming, sirens, and lip trills. Warming up will help prevent strain and improve your vocal range.

  2. Maintain proper posture: Stand up straight or sit upright with your shoulders relaxed. Good posture allows for better breath control and projection.

  3. Breathe properly: Take deep breaths from your diaphragm, rather than shallow breaths from your chest. This will give you better control and sustain while singing.

  4. Articulate the lyrics: Pay attention to the pronunciation of each word and enunciate clearly. This will ensure that the audience can understand the lyrics and follow along.

  5. Emphasize dynamics: Use dynamic variation to add depth and emotion to your performance. Soften your voice during quieter parts of the song and increase volume during climactic moments.

  6. Express the lyrics: Connect with the lyrics and convey the story or emotion behind the song. This will engage your audience and make your performance more compelling.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you practice and apply these techniques, the more confident and polished your rendition of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" will be. So grab a microphone, gather your friends and family, and spread some holiday cheer with this delightful Christmas carol.

For more information on Christmas carols and singing techniques, check out these helpful resources:

Now that you've mastered the words and techniques for singing "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," it's time to get ready for your next festive performance. Stay tuned for more guides and tips on holiday songs and traditions!

Learn the Words to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas": A Guide for All Ages

Fun Facts About Hippos

Hippos are fascinating creatures that captivate the imagination with their unique characteristics and behavior. In this section, we will explore the habitat and characteristics of hippos, as well as share some interesting trivia about these marvelous animals.

Habitat and Characteristics of Hippos

Hippos, scientifically known as Hippopotamus amphibius, are native to sub-Saharan Africa, where they inhabit rivers, lakes, and swamps. They are semi-aquatic mammals and spend most of their time in water to stay cool and protect their sensitive skin from the sun. Despite their hefty appearance, hippos are surprisingly agile in the water, capable of swimming and diving with ease.

With their barrel-shaped bodies and short legs, hippos may not seem like the fastest animals on land. However, they can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour) when running short distances. Their large size, weighing between 3,000 to 4,500 pounds (1,360 to 2,040 kilograms), makes them one of the heaviest land mammals in the world.

Hippos are known for their distinctive physical features. They have massive heads, with broad mouths that can open wide enough to reveal their intimidating canine teeth, which can grow up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) long. Their eyes, ears, and nostrils are positioned high on their heads, allowing them to stay mostly submerged in water while still being aware of their surroundings. Hippos' skin is hairless and thick, secreting a natural sunscreen-like substance that protects them from sunburn and dehydration.

Interesting Hippo Trivia

  • Did you know that hippos are herbivores? Despite their fearsome appearance, they mainly feed on grass. In fact, an adult hippo can consume up to 80 pounds (36 kilograms) of vegetation in a single night!

  • Hippos are highly territorial and often mark their territory by spraying their feces, known as "hippo dung showers." This behavior helps them establish dominance and communicate with other hippos.

  • Although hippos are primarily peaceful animals, they can become extremely aggressive if they feel threatened, especially when protecting their young. It's best to keep a safe distance and admire these magnificent creatures from afar.

  • When it comes to communication, hippos have an impressive repertoire of vocalizations, including grunts, roars, and honks. These sounds serve various purposes, such as warning off rivals, expressing territorial boundaries, or communicating with their herd.

  • Despite their large size, hippos are surprisingly good swimmers and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. Their unique anatomy allows them to close their nostrils and ears to prevent water from entering.

Now that you've learned some intriguing facts about hippos, you can appreciate these marvelous creatures even more. Stay tuned for the next section of our guide, where we'll delve into the lyrics of the delightful holiday song, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas."

Brown Wooden Dock (Photo by James Wheeler)

Note: Due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to display the actual image here. However, you can click here to view a captivating photo of a hippo in its natural habitat.

Disclaimer: The provided link is for reference purposes only and is not an endorsement of the website or its content.


In conclusion, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" is a beloved holiday song that has captured the hearts of people of all ages since its release in December 1953. This catchy tune, written by John Rox and performed by Gayla Peevey when she was just ten years old, quickly became a hit and even sparked a statewide funding drive to bring a real hippopotamus to the zoo. Over the years, the song has maintained its popularity, and its cheerful lyrics continue to bring joy during the holiday season. Whether you're a fan of traditional holiday tunes or simply enjoy catchy melodies, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" is a must-listen.

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