Monday, December 17, 2012

The Most Annoying Christmas Song

Is it "Dominick the Christmas Donkey"? The Chipmunks' "Christmas Don't Be Late"?

No. For me, the song that's become the yuletide equivalent of a dentist's drill is "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" sung by Gayla Peevey. Even her name sounds annoying (I'm sorry, Gayla, if you happen to read this.) This spoiled brat wants Santa to bring her not a dollhouse or a pony--but a hippo, apparently unaware that hippos can charge after humans and snap their body in two (someone get Gayla a hippo pronto!) 

Gayla was ten years old when this novelty became a hit in 1953, and she even performed it on The Ed Sullivan Show. Her voice is a little easier to take when she's singing on a variety show set. And guess what? Gayla got her wish. An Oklahoma radio station launched a campaign to raise money to give her a hippopotamus for Christmas. She was presented with a hippo, named Matilda, which she donated to the local zoo. 

When Gayla was a little older, she performed under the name Jamie Horton and had a minor hit with "My Little Marine" in 1960. 

What holiday song bugs you the most?


Chelly said...

Amen sister! This song drives me nuts. And the worst part is, that once you hear it, you cannot get it out of your freaking head. It's utterly painful. For the longest time my brother actually thought the words were "I want to BE a hippopotamus for Christmas"!

Totally enjoyed this post Pam. It had me laughing out loud. :)

phairhead said...

Dominick The Christmas Donkey can go away any time now

Pam@GoRetro said...

LOL, Chelly--her voice really grates on me, sorry to say. I kind of feel bad for the two little girls who are sharing the stage with her in that of them looks utterly bored and they're both just part of the scenery while Gayla struts her stuff.

phairhead -- I like Dominick the Christmas Donkey better.

Pat said...

Burl Ives singing Rudolph grates on my last nerve.

Merry Christmas!

Amanda By Night said...

I don't even know this song! I guess I am one of the lucky ones! :)

I vote for Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. I loathe that one.

Pam@GoRetro said...

Burl Ives??? What have you been smoking, Pat?

Amanda -- I don't like that one, either. It seems awfully mean to grandmas everywhere.

Mick said...

"These Christmas Shoes" drives me UP THE WALL! haha

JZ said...

Probably the "barking" version of Jingle Bells. It was cute when I first heard it 30 years ago. Not now.

Also, radio stations flipping to all Christmas music earlier every year. I was already sick of Christmas songs by Thanksgiving (which goes back to a post Pam did earlier this year).

Gilligan Newton-John said...

Only if Nickelback were to cover it could a song be more unlikable.

Desdinova said...

The only thing worse is the flip side of the 45 called "Are My Ears On Straight?" in which Gayla pretends to be a broken doll.

I agree with the votes for "Christmas Shoes" and "Grandma Got Runover By a Reindeer" being bad.

I blame the industry I work in, radio, for all of this. Radio used to rarely play Christmas music except on Christmas eve and Christmas day. A few years ago, some idiot came up with playing all Christmas music from November to December. Many times this is not to celebrate the holidays but to cover the fact that the large radio corporations are laying off the on-air staff. Merry Chistmas, Mr. Scrooge!

Tom said...

Hippopotamus wins hands down. I never cared enough to see who sung this and I'm surprised to learn it was an actual child. I always figured it was some adult woman simulating a young girl's voice since it sounded so bad.

That aside, the runner's up have to be The Christmas Shoes and A Soldier's Christmas in which Santa weeps over a Marine. Don't get me wrong, I've lost family to cancer and I'm all for supporting our armed forces, but who needs songs like these at Christmas time?!

ApacheDug said...

Not to be a rebel, but I kinda like this song! And I'm with Amanda (maybe it's a southwestern PA thing), but this song is holiday BLISS compared to that dang grandma song!

Johnny Seagull said...

Couldn't take it to the finish. Gayla would be a little more bearable with both nostrils unblocked, her offsiders don't have a clue or any sense of rhythm, and Big Ed must have been some sort of businessman because he sure ain't no showman. The latter thought is most definitely not original.
Christmas stinker? That evil thing by the shortest shrillest Osmond.

Pam@GoRetro said...

Mick -- Had no idea what "These Christmas Shoes" were, looked it up and saw it's a fairly new song that came out about 10 years ago. I didn't take the time to listen to it, and sounds like I shouldn't bother.

JZ -- I have the cat equivalent cassette tape of that record you're talking about! Not once have I made it to the second song. I have to say the radio stations in my area didn't go berzerk this year starting the songs early. In fact, there are some that I enjoy that haven't been played yet.

Gilligan -- Ha! Nickelback. One of those bands I assumed sounded cool from the hype until I actually heard them.

Desdinova -- I tried listening to the B side song about the broken doll. Tried.

Tom -- I could never tell if it was a boy or a girl singing the song until the DJ mentioned her name one day. I looked up the lyrics to "A Soldier's Christmas" and didn't dare listen to the song.

Doug -- Well Doug, I guess you're the only one here who likes the song!

Johnny Seagull -- You said it best, epic comment!

Thanks everyone for your comments and happy holidays!

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