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What “The Hippo Song” Can Teach You

Year after year, VBS after VBS, there is one song that gets more requests and more hype over any other. Of course, it is the monstrously popular “Hippo Song.” Its silly lyrics combined with blazing fast movements make it a spectacular event in and of itself. But, what value does it bring?

Many of the songs we sing have a clear spiritual value. “Jesus Love Me” teaches us that the eternal love of Christ can be found in the pages of the Bible. “The Wise Man” teaches us the famous parable about building your life upon the teachings of Jesus. But, what in the world makes “The Hippo Song” worth burning all of those calories and risking injury? I’ve got two great reasons.

First, it teaches that the creation of the world demonstrates God’s love for mankind. The songs says, “In the beginning, God made the seas and the forest filled with trees; made the mountaintops so high. At the top He placed the sky. His fingerprints are everywhere, just to show how much He cares.”

How do we know God is real? Because we can see His work in the universe. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psa. 19:1). How do we know that God loves us? Because He made the world just right for us to live and flourish.  “For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited” (Isa. 45:18). All the creativity and planning that went into the world was done just for us. What a wonderful thing to sing about.

Second, and this is really important, “The Hippo Song” teaches us to laugh. When I was an aftercare counselor, if I had a student in a sour mood, I would have them do a lap around the cafeteria while skipping. Without fail, the child’s frown would slowly change into a smile!  You can’t stay in a bad mood if you’re doing something silly. Silliness brings laughter, and laughter brings joy. And there is no VBS song that causes more laughter than “The Hippo Song.”

Laughter is an important creation of our heavenly Father meant to enrich our lives and draw us to Him. Sarah was right when she said, “God has made laughter for me…” (Gen. 21:6). Laughter makes life more enjoyable and fulfilling. The Proverbs tell us, “A joyful heart is good medicine…,” “A glad heart makes a cheerful face,” and “…he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast” (Prov. 17:22; 15:13, 15).

I love “The Hippo Song” for the truth it teaches and the joy it brings. I hope we get our fill, laughing with our children as we get dizzy singing this great song together.