Better than a hippo

Also in the annals of adorable little girls singing irritating songs about Christmas is Gayla Peevey, who recorded “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” in 1953 at age ten.

Gayla’s is actually a somewhat inspiring story. The song became a nationwide hit, propelling the Oklahoma child star to national renown amusement. The Oklahoma City Zoo used the song to raise funds to buy a hippopotamus, which Gayla herself presented to the zoo.

Gayla went on to have an unremarkable career as a child singer and then, under a stage name as a teenager, pop singer. But this Christmas story actually has a happy ending: unlike so many child stars, Gayla ended up finishing college, enjoying careers in teaching and advertising, and having a daughter and three grandkids (if Wikipedia is to be believed).

So, gentle readers, even if Gayla never got her own hippo for Christmas, she got a lot more out of life.


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