2022 Carol Countdown champion: Colorado gives a ringing endorsement to its favorite Christmas carol

Ring the bells, a winner has been declared! For the second year in a row, “Carol of the Bells” has been voted Colorado’s favorite Christmas carol in our annual Carol Countdown. 

While this carol is always a favorite, those bells may be resounding even more than usual this year due to the tune’s Ukrainian origins, which are especially important to honor this year. The “sweet silver bells” tune we’ve become so familiar with is actually a folk melody that Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovich adapted into a choral composition titled “Shchedryk” (derived from the Ukrainian word for “bountiful”) in 1916. 

It was only when this composition — a New Years’ song about a little sparrow that brings a tidings of a bountiful new year – was played in the U.S. that Peter Wilhousky wrote new Christmas lyrics and adapted it into “Carol of the Bells.”

Want to hear more Ukrainian music? Here’s a good place to start.

Kudos to this year’s runner-up, “Joy to the World.” As many a World Cup team could probably tell you, it’s still an honor to get to the championship round against a juggernaut! Congratulations are also in order for “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “The Christmas Song,” which beat many favorites to advance to the Festive Four.

Thanks for voting in this year’s bracket! No matter what your favorite was, don’t forget that you can hear all of the carols from this year during our Carol Countdown broadcast. Find all of the times you can hear it on the air or streaming, along with lots of other holiday programming.

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. 7: 3 p.m.
Dec. 10: 3 p.m.
Dec. 13: 9 a.m.
Dec. 16: 6 p.m.
Dec. 23: 11 a.m.
Dec. 25: 9 a.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."