Shelby’s 10 Worst Christmas Songs #6: Oh My God, My Ears–MY EARS!!! Edition

In a rare double-header, two Christmas songs come in to represent #6. Neither are good songs, but the final nail in their collective coffin is the ear-shattering aspect. These two songs make me want to shove my fingers in my ears, which is dangerous because I listen to radio Christmas music when I’m driving. But here they are:

#6 The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) -and- I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas (by Gayla Peevey)

Ear protection is advised…


Now first let me fully disclose that I was an Alvin and the Chipmunks fan as a youth. Not the current Alvin with his weird computer-generated body and hip-hop songs, but the original. I thought the song was funny. The constant “Me, I want a hula hoop” was giggle worthy. Now I’m like GIVE THE KID A DAMNED HULA HOOP! HOW MUCH CAN THEY POSSIBLY BE? LIKE $20 AT WAL-MART???

Now much in the same way that the Singing Dogs changed recording history, so did the chipmunks. In fact, the chipmunks won three grammy awards in 1958: Best Comedy Performance (remember, they were probably still recovering from the Singing Dogs), Best Children’s Recording, which definitively showed how valued children’s recordings were in 1958. And also a Best Engineered Record, which I think is one of those awards you give away the day before so you don’t gum up the telecast with boring thank-yous and such, or at least make an attempt.

Anyway, unlike the Singing Dog, it did not have an actual renaissance. It has simply been a stowaway on other more legitimate Christmas albums and then then those get played, the Chipmunks come too. And the amount of effort it would take to remove this song from our collective lexicon is not greater than the inertia of the people with the power to do it. And so we are stuck with a plane that loops the loop.


And to fully disclose, I have to admit that I have a son named Theodore, and an internet friend of mine has a son named Simon, and if we ever find an Alvin there will be cause to meet up in joyous celebration. But we will still not be playing that song.

And as for the hippopotamuses…

People often fondly look back on the 50s era as a time of wonderful music. What they don’t realize is that the same time era was producing the Singing Dogs, the Chipmunks, and something found in the Jungle Cruise.

This is sad.

I really don’t have a lot to say about Hippopotamus other than that the ear-screeching quality makes me wonder if I tilt my head, will blood come running out of my ear? The song does get better in the middle, if you still have any kind of hearing quality left, but the screeching starts up at the end. There are few songs that make me immediately shut the radio off, and this is one of them.

However, if you have a sardonic, quirky sense of humor like I do, you might want to review the plight of the animatronic hippos of Disneyland.

16 responses to “Shelby’s 10 Worst Christmas Songs #6: Oh My God, My Ears–MY EARS!!! Edition

  1. MelindaB December 13, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Shelby, I have to admit that I like both of these songs. OK, Gayla Peevey does have an annoying voice, I’ll give you that. (Or did, since she sang this as a child and is now, I believe, in her 60s…but she may still have an annoying voice. No idea.)

    Here is a link to an adorable little girl singing the song. I also recommend watching her tell the story of Jonah. She’s a hoot.

    My husband has an uncle named Alvin. He lives in South Dakota and is in his 70s, though.

    • Shelby December 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      I know I’ll be stoned for saying this, but while the little girl is very cute (and the Jonah story IS hilarious–thanks for the link!) I still find the song ear-splitting even when she’s singing it. Sorry!

      • MelindaB December 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm

        Don’t apologize–we all have different tastes. I admit that I couldn’t listen to the song on a repeated loop, no matter who’s singing it. I think that one reason I like Mary Margaret is because she reminds me very much of my niece, who has curly hair, wears similar glasses and is very theatrical.

  2. Kelly Gerner December 13, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Shelby, if you haven’t seen comedian Patton Oswalt’s take on the Chipmunk’s Christmas Song, it’s a must:

  3. Amber December 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I had a feeling you were going to boo the Hippo song. I actually never heard this song until 5 years ago after moving to Las Vegas. I have not heard it on the radio yet this year. I think it is cute, but I would not be impressed if the DJs were over playing it. I really should charge up my Ipod so I can hear it this season.

    As far as the Chipmunks go, it’s like the front teeth for Christmas song. It’s a part of my childhood. It makes me smile. The end. Now lets listen to Silent Night.

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  5. Roxann December 14, 2011 at 6:11 am

    If it helps, sales from the Hippo song raised money to buy a hippo for the Oklahoma City Zoo, back in the 50’s. The hippo was actually presented to Gayle Peevy as a gift, who then, of course, donated it to the zoo.

    And there’s a second song, “How’d Ja Like to Have a Hippo Christmas Day?”, which luckily might have been performed live on the radio and we don’t have to listen to it now. 😉

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  7. Amber December 16, 2011 at 5:41 am

    At my school’s winter concert yesterday, the first and second grade boys danced to the Hippo song. It was pretty cute.

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  9. Noodle December 19, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I love the Chipmunk song. Do you hate the Snoopy song as well? Please don’t hate on the Snoopy song.

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