Ring the bells! Here is the winner of CPR’s 2021 Carol Countdown

Mia Rincón/CPR

It was a year of resounding matchups, but at the end, enough of you chimed in to give one carol a ringing endorsement for the championship seat just in time for the New Year's bells to toll.

By a wide margin, “Carol of the Bells” has won the title of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carol in our 2021 Carol Countdown. 

This is the climactic end of a remarkable year that finally forced frequent champion “O Holy Night” to share the spotlight with some other carols. Could this year be a sign that it shouldn’t get too comfortable at the top?

“Carol of the Bells” is always a favorite, but this is the first time it’s won since 2017. Fans of those iconic bells have NBC Symphony Orchestra arranger Peter Wilhousky to thank for popularizing it after he was inspired to adapt the original Ukrainian tune upon hearing it at a concert in 1921.

Our condolences to fans of runner-up “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” But on the bright side, second place is a great achievement and the highest this carol has ever ranked in the Carol Countdown! The next highest rank it achieved was #5 way back in 2012.With lyrics from Methodism founder Charles Wesley and music based on a tune by Felix Mendelssohn, “Hark!” is a delightful hymn that’s sure to bring down the house at many a Christmas service this year.

Congratulations are also in order for the young dark horse in fourth place: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” It overtook favorites like “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” to rise to its highest placement since ranking #17 over a decade ago in 2010!

Thanks to everyone who voted for their favorite carols this year – and don’t worry if yours was knocked out! We’ll play all of the carols on-air, ordered according to your votes, during our Carol Countdown broadcast. You’ll have seven chances to hear it live throughout December! (There’s lots of other holiday programming, too!)

Tune in to CPR Classical at the times below to hear Matt Weesner host three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols, selected by you. Happy Holidays!

Carol Countdown air times:

Dec. 11: 3 p.m.
Dec. 13: 4 p.m.
Dec. 15: 10 a.m.
Dec. 16: 1 p.m.
Dec. 20: 9 a.m.
Dec. 24: 3 p.m.
Dec. 25: 8 a.m.