Bracket released for Advent Caroling Madness Week #4

Amazing. You people have taken Advent Caroling Madness to a new level. I had so many submissions for week 4 (original songs that aren’t yet a “standard” Christmas song) that I added a few of my own to make two full 16 team brackets. I originally had hoped to finish by Christmas, but we’ll go ahead and stretch it out through the whole week. You’ll need time to vote in the early rounds, with thirty two songs to listen to. So you’ll have until Monday night at 9 pm PST to vote in the first round.

I’ve called them bracket A and B. The winners of each bracket will then face off against each other to name one winner for week 4. I’ll post bracket A, the songs and who nominated them and places to vote. Then further down the page bracket B, those songs and who nominated, and places to vote. So don’t forget to go all the way to the bottom of the page. Here’s bracket A:

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The top seed in this bracket is the joint recommendation of my family, Barlow Girl’s “Hallelujah (Light Has Come)“. It goes up against Bob Ramsey’s suggestion, which should have at least two votes from Ben Kulpa and Steve Sherwood, #16 “Peyton Manning’s Passing Your Way” by Bootsy Collins.

#8 is BeBe Winans’ “My Christmas Prayer“, nominated by Elaine Koskela. It goes up against Erin Heasley Knoch’s recommendation of “Such a Strange Way to Save the World” by 4Him, a #9 seed.

On behalf of Lisby Rogers, to make it actually Christmas, I nominated #5 “Tennessee Christmas” from Amy Grant’s first Christmas Album. She faces #12 “O Santa” from Veggie Tales, submitted by Mareesa Fawver.

Elaine also suggested #4 seed “Our God is With Us” by Steven Curtis Chapman, pitted against Carol Sherwood’s #13 seed “Santa Claus is Back in Town” by Elvis Presley. She’s listened to this every Christmas morning since 1958!

#6 seed “Cool Yule” by Louis Armstrong was suggested by Twila Tschan, and several Newberg High grads chimed in with their support. Its first round opponent is #11 “Christmas Canon” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, nominated by Jenn Perez.


My daughter Aubrey suggested #7 seed “This Christmas” by Toby Mac. And Hannah Souter contributed a boy band gem, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by N*SYNC, a #10 seed. Check out Gary Coleman in the video!


#3 is my suggestion, Michael W. Smith’s “All is Well“. Ben Kulpa gave #14, “Silver Bells” by Gregg Allman and Stephen Colbert.


#2 is “Deliver Us” by Andrew Peterson. It’s my suggestion, but I give the credit to Martha Wood for becoming aware of this. Jenn Perez also nominated Harry Connick Jr.’s “I Pray on Christmas“, a #15 seed.

Now we move on to bracket B:

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I remember driving back to George Fox’s campus from Washington Square, having just purchased Michael W. Smith’s first Christmas album on cassette. That car ride home would have been the first time I heard #1 seed “No Eye Has Seen“. Ben Kulpa nominated #16 “Monster’s Holiday” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett.

MK Koch contributed Otis Redding’s “Merry Christmas, Baby“, a #8 seed, facing #9 “Peace on Earth” by Big Daddy Weave, suggested by Lisa Nauman.

#5 is Ella Fitzgerald’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm“, nominated by Robin Mohr. Her foe is #12 Sufjan Steven’s “We’re Going to the Country“…and I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone that is J Rourke’s suggestion.

Once again, in Lisby’s honor, I offer #4 seed “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant…facing #13 “Jesus Christ, The Apple Tree” by the Choir of St. John’s College in Cambridge. This unique suggestion by David Sherwood is worth looking at the lyrics below the video.

David and Carol Sherwood’s marriage survived having opposing nominations in the first round a couple weeks ago; we’ll see if Elaine and I can do the same. I offer #6, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You“, pitted against Elaine’s #11, “Child of Love” by Sara Groves.

Bob Ramsey nominated a new one to me, by The New Pornographers: “Joseph, Who Understood“, the #3 seed (the band name is ironic, he reminds, and the lyrics are poignant and real). Dawn Morris Reed gave the #14 seed, “In the First Light” by Glad.

Remember my age, and you’ll know why #7 “Last Christmas” by Wham! is here. Bethany Bylsma keeps up her pattern of offering non-traditional but thoughtful recommendations. #10 “Fairy Tale of New York” by The Pogue’s, featuring Kirsty McCall is not warm and fuzzy. But I read the lyrics, and it reminds that the true heart of Christmas is embracing all of humanity and bringing hope.

Fellow seminarians face off in the last match of round 1: #2 “Christmas Lights” by Coldplay from Bethany Bylsma, and #15 “A Spaceman Came Traveling” by Chris de Burgh is from Martha Wood.

So make your votes! Since there are so many to listen to and vote upon, you have two days, with the deadline Monday at 9 pm PST.

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