“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is a novelty song written by John Rox and performed by Gayla Peevey. She was 10 years old at the time in 1953. The Three Stooges went on to record a version in 1959. Many others have recorded it since then as well.
In the song, the singer expresses that she wants to become the proud owner of a hippopotamus. For example, these Lyrics:
Mom says a hippo would eat me up but then
Teacher says the hippo is a vegetarian
The problem here is that while it is entirely true that Hippos do not eat meat, they are still very capable of killing human beings.
According to the BBC, “the hippopotamus is the world’s deadliest large land mammal, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. Hippos are aggressive creatures, and they have very sharp teeth. And you would not want to get stuck under one; at up to 2,750kg they can crush a human to death.”
National Geographic has reported on conflicts between Humans and Hippos in Kenya over land and resources. They Hippos are not playing and they are tired of our crap.
So while this is a great song, maybe we should give plush toy hippos to our kids and some reserve habitat to the hippos.