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Holiday Groove of the Day/Gayla Peevey/”I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”

Now, here’s a holiday song that if you don’t want to just get up ad march around the Christmas tree to, your name truly is Jack Skellington. Recorded all the way back in 1953 when she was just ten years old, Gayla Peevey’s “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is a short, sweet sugary tune that is full of life and is laced with but one simple request-Ms. Peevey doesn’t want any dolls or toys. but a big, fuzzy hippo to play with for all time. Really, what could be better than that? Absolutely nothing. 

Although the beloved tune became her only hit (she had a few minor hits in the late ’50s under the name Jamie Horton), its lovely legacy will live on for all kids ages one-to-ninety-two and will always have each and every one of us praying that maybe one day all of our hippo Christmas dreams will come true. 

 

 

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Holiday Groove of the Day/Darlene Love/”All Alone on Christmas”

With its boisterous beat, sexy sax and Ms. Love’s undeniable vocal prowess, you almost forget that the upbeat “All Alone on Christmas” is actually a depressing number containing heart wrenching lyrics (Things are different since you’ve been here last
Childhood dreaming is a thing of the past”) 
about longing to be with their long lost love during the holidays.

Written by legendary E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt (a handful of Springsteen’s band mates also play on the beloved tune), the song, as we all know, was predominantly featured on the soundtrack to Home Alone 2:Lost In New York and instantly became a holiday music classic, mostly because Love just simply owns every note she belts our way.

Not her first ride on the holiday music train, the soul shattering songstress first delivered a Santa sack’s full of music gifts on Phil Spector’s timeless record, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, delivering soul moving renditions of  “White Christmas,” “Marshmallow World,” “Winter Wonderland” and of course, “Christmas(Baby Please Come),” of which Love takes the sugarplum life of a winter wonderland and turns it into a music tale of vile teenage heartbreak in a way that she only knows how to do…and it just wouldn’t be the holidays without it. 

There’s a reason why Rolling Stone didn’t just name Spector’s landmark record as its top pick for greatest holiday album of all time (have all the seats in the Wells Fargo Center to this record, Mariah), but the album also holds a plum spot at number 142 on RS’ coveted ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’ list, and Ms. Darlene Love is a monumental part of all of it.

Now let’s those merry Monday grooves get in because Santa is coming in 4 days and a little Love music goes on a long way during the holiday season! 

Ready…set…Kevin McCallister

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Holiday Groove of the Day/Wham!/”Last Christmas”

Who would’ve thought that a song about getting your heart stomped on at Christmas would go on to be a cherished holiday classic? The B-side to Wham!’s smash hit, “Everything She Wants,” “Last Christmas” is basically a soul shattering number about someone giving their significant other all of their love on Christmas, only to have it given away (sigh) the very next day. While the song’s lyrics are depressing at their very Kleenex grabbing best, it’s built around a galloping beat loaded with trademark ’80s synths that glide underneath Mr. George Michael’s sullen vocal tone, which all come together to help you realize, ‘hey, it’s going to be okay in the New Year.’ Pass the Christmas cookie dough, please. 

While several (hundred) music artists have tried really, really hard to duplicate the decoratively depressing magnitude of “Last Christmas,” (although that Hilary Duff version..) it’s hard to top the flowing, heartbroken tone of the original, not to mention, George Michael’s vocals will always be in a whimsical class of their very own, which is the main reason why “Last Christmas” is just that holiday groove.