“Carol of the Bells” vs. “Joy to the World”: Decide in our 2022 Carol Countdown championship round!

Update: Final round voting ended on Dec. 5. The winner has been announced!

The odds are stacked, but who doesn’t love an upset? Let’s see if “Joy to the World” can unseat last year’s champion, “Carol of the Bells,” as Colorado’s favorite Christmas carol in our 2022 Carol Countdown!

“Joy to the World” fought hard to make it to the final, narrowly advancing over “Angels We Have Heard on High” with a margin of just over 60 votes. An absolute fixture in hymnals, it’s not surprising why it’s so beloved. There are few refrains catchier than the opening line — which is actually just a humble descending D major scale.

“Joy” faces a steep challenge against “Carol of the Bells,” though, which was last year’s champion and has placed either first or second (trading spots with “O Holy Night”) every year for the last decade. 

Did you know “Carol of the Bells” wasn’t originally a Christmas song at all, and we have Ukraine to thank for it? NBC Symphony Orchestra arranger Peter Wilhousky heard the original tune, “Shchedryk” — a Ukrainian composition based on an ancient folk carol — at a concert in 1921 and was inspired to adapt it into the arrangement we know and love today.

The final showdown is here. Cast your vote in our interactive bracket to determine Colorado’s favorite Christmas carol of 2022 — and be entered to win a pair of tickets to see the Colorado Ballet's production of “The Nutcracker” on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.!

Final round voting is open until midnight Dec. 5. We’ll announce the winner on Dec. 7. And don’t forget to listen to CPR Classical’s Carol Countdown on Wednesday, Dec. 7 starting at 3 p.m.!

CPR Classical is your Sound of the Season

Hear CPR Classical by clicking “Listen Live” at the top on this website, or download the Colorado Public Radio app. Listen on your radio to CPR Classical at 88.1 FM in Denver, at radio signals around Colorado. You can also tell your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical."