The Key’s Year End Mania: Ben Vaughn’s Top 5 Christmas Songs

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The Godfather of Soul as Saint Nick | photo via thefivecount.com

Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, DJ Ben Vaughn of the Many Moods of Ben Vaughn has a few suggestions for your holiday party playlist.

“Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto” by James Brown

This isn’t a request, it’s a command from the Godfather of Soul. If Santa knows what’s good for him he’ll type “ghetto” into his GPS and get goin’!

“Jingle Bells” by The Barking Dogs

A masterpiece created in 1955 by a Danish bird song collector named Carl Weismann. The tape splicing probably took forever. I wonder if it was still funny to him when he was finally finished.

“Santa Claus” by The Sonics

Pre-punk punk from the Great Northwest circa ’65. It’s hard to beat this one if you’re looking a Christmas tune “with an edge.” Or if you’re just in a bad mood.

“Silent Night” by Ween

Recorded during a radio appearance back in the nineties, this is great because lead singer Gene Ween reveals his confusion about Christmas. That will happen when you’re half-Jewish and half-Italian.

“Santa” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

An improvised blues tune by the guy who called himself The King of Houston. The verse about New York City is pretty funny. He describes children being confused when a Salvation Army Santa asks them for money. The action takes place on Main Street which seems weird at first but research reveals that there are actually five Main Streets in NYC. None of them are officially in Manhattan, however. Unless you count Roosevelt island.

The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn airs Saturday nights from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on WXPN, 88.5 FM in Philadelphia and XPN.org worldwide.

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