We now know for whom the bell tolls (Sorry, not sorry). It tolls for “Carol of the Bells” which was edged out by “O Holy Night” in our bracket of Christmas classics. A mere 81 votes measured the distance between the two.
The four repeating tones from “Bells,” arranged from an old Ukrainian folk tune, will probably haunt us for the rest of the year — but there’s no time to worry about that now. Especially since the other half of the festive four was no contest at all. Sorry about that, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”
In the challenger’s corner, hailing from Oberndorf, Austria circa Christmas Eve 1818, is “Silent Night.” Yes, all is calm and all is bright — but is that enough to take on the reigning champ? In six years of counting down the carols, this certified holiday classic has never risen above the third spot.
Aaaaaaaaand in the incumbent’s corner, fighting fit and trim from 1843 France is “O Holy Night” — first written as a poem by Placide Cappeau and later set to music by Adolphe Adam. On paper, this most reverent of hymns is the carol to beat.
Hold on to your egg nog, folks.
Championship-round voting is now open through Dec. 13. We’ll declare the top carol of 2020 on Dec. 14. 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.