Hark! We’re Down To 16 Of Your Favorite Carols In Our Bracket Of Christmas Classics

Update: Second round voting ended on Dec. 3. On to round three!

It started with 32 carols and now we’re down to the seasonal sixteen.

All of last year’s top seeds danced their way through and no Cinderella’s cashed their checks. Were there some close calls? Most definitely. There were some blowouts too. The margin between Silent Night and Deck the Halls was laughable and now we’re going to have to find something to do with all those boughs of holly.

On Christmas Eve 1818, Joseph Mohr, the assistant pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria, needed something for midnight mass. So he asked the organist, Franz Gruber, to compose a melody, and quickly, to a poem he’d written two years before. They sang it together at the service, Mohr accompanying on guitar. “Silent Night” was picked up by touring musicians and has been beloved ever since.

In the squeakers, “Joy to the World” barely got around classic “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

The hymn may sound like it’s a cousin to the famous “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah,” but it turns out the music was composed by Lowell Mason — an American composer famous for penning “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and hundreds of Protestant hymns. Is that enough to now carry it against “O Christmas Tree?”

That’ll be up to you. Voting for the seasonal sixteen starts now.

Second-round voting is open through Dec 3. We’ll announce the carols that move on and open round 3 voting on Dec. 4. We’ll declare a champ on Dec. 14. And don’t forget to listen to CPR Classical’s Carol Countdown on Saturday, Dec. 12 starting at 2 p.m.

Votes in the bracket will be used to help arrange the annual CPR Classical Carol Countdown. You can find the rest of our holiday programming here.

CPR Classical's Marilyn Cooley contributed to this story.