Vote now: Can a challenger defeat “Carol of the Bells” in our 2023 Carol Countdown?

· Nov. 30, 2023, 4:00 am
Maria Juliana Pinzón/CPR

Update: Final round voting ended on Dec. 4 — and the winner has been announced!


“Carol of the Bells” is the Alabama Crimson Tide of Christmas carols. It’s a sure bet to win our Carol Countdown most years, and just can’t seem to be booted off the top! In addition to winning the past two Countdowns, it has placed first or second in the Carol Countdown (trading off years with “O Holy Night”) every year since 2011. 

Enter this year’s formidable challenger: “Silent Night.” Who doesn’t have a fond memory of this slow, still and sweet carol? Its iconic lullaby-like arrangement reflects not only its Nativity theme but also its humble beginnings: It debuted in a small Austrian church on Christmas Eve in 1818 with just a simple guitar accompaniment because of a damaged organ

A good performance of this classic has been known to leave no dry eye in the house. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, then, that it’s often landed in the semifinals of Carol Countdowns past.

Of course, it’s easy to see why “Carol of the Bells” is so well loved, too. Originally an early 20th century Ukrainian folk tune about a sparrow bringing New Year’s blessings, the adapted Christmas version has become so ubiquitous in playlists, commercials and parodies that it likely feels like the very sound of Christmas for some.

It’s all come down to this. Cast your final vote below to determine Colorado’s favorite Christmas carol of 2023! With your vote, you’ll be automatically entered to win a family four-pack to see the Colorado Ballet’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s "The Nutcracker" on Dec. 14. See the complete rules here.

Final round voting is open until midnight Dec. 4. We’ll announce the champion on Dec. 7. And don’t forget to listen to CPR Classical’s Carol Countdown on Thursday, Dec. 7, starting at noon.

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