It’s here…it’s time…
Time for people to yell at me in all caps on Facebook, send me threatening texts, go out to the highways and byways to get out votes for their favorites…time to listen to eccentric and beautiful music, and start building some Christmas Spirit.
The original brainstorm was 4 years ago…and I think I had my first question about whether I’d be doing it again this year more than two months ago. You all DEMAND Advent Caroling Madness, so it’s time to deliver!
It works like this: I choose a Christmas song, and you send me your favorite versions of that song (please try to find it on YouTube, so I can link it so all can listen). Then I set up a bracket like March Madness, and we all vote. Winners advance, and we vote again. Rinse and repeat until we get down to one best version of each song. You can post versions (with links) as comments here, or on my Facebook page, or send by email.
This year, I will only be able to do two songs, and they will need to be early. Elaine and I (New Zealand) have plans (New Zealand) over Christmas break (New Zealand), and I will be enjoying myself (New Zealand), not running this bracket. The first song will be It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, suggested to me last year. Written by Edmund Sears in 1849 after the Mexican-American War, it stands out as a song that addresses the difficulty of the world. The original verse three, which is often omitted, seems appropriate for our current difficult age:
Yet with the woes of sin and strife/The world has suffered long
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled/Two thousand years of wrong
And warring humankind hears not/The love-song which they bring
O hush the noise, and cease your strife/And hear the angels sing.
The second song will be The First Noel, suggested last year by Jenn Perez. Here’s what we’ve done in past years:
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles
Angels We Have Heard on High Pentatonix
Joy to the World Aretha Franklin
Original Christmas Song Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant
Silent Night Simon & Garfunkel
Coventry Carol Assyrian Singers
O Come All Ye Faithful Tasha Cobbs
Good King Wenceslas Colbert, Patinkin, Stipe
What Child Is This? Andrea Bocelli & Mary J. Blige
Amy Grant Christmas Cheerfest! Breath of Heaven
So get me your submissions for “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”! Deadline: 3 pm, Sunday November 26!