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I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

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John Rox (arr. James Kazik)

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Subtitle: Hippo the Hero

General Info

Year: 1953 / 2011
Duration: c. 1:55
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00; (digital) - $50.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Bass Trombone
Percussion I-II-III

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas is a Christmas novelty song written by John Rox and performed by Gayla Peevey (10 years old at the time) in 1953. The song peaked at number 24 on Billboard Magazine's pop chart in December 1953.

A popular legend holds that this 1953 hit had been recorded as a fundraiser to bring the city zoo a hippo; but in a 2007 radio interview with Detroit-based WNIC radio station, Peevey clarified that the song was not originally recorded as a fundraiser. Instead, a local promoter picked up on the popularity of the song and Peevey's local roots, and launched a campaign to present her with an actual hippopotamus on Christmas.

The campaign succeeded, and she was presented with an actual hippopotamus, which she donated to the city zoo. The hippopotamus lived for nearly 50 years.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • WELS Wind Ensemble (Columbus, Wisc.) (Mary Kluetzman, conductor)– 8 December 2019
  • Edmonton (Alb.) Schoolboys’ Alumni Band (Graeme Peppink, conductor) – 1 December 2019
  • Phoenix (N.Y.) Community Band (Ronald Nuzzo, conductor) – 18 December 2017
  • Las Vegas Youth Orchestra Symphonic Band – 13 December 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer