It’s Advent Bracket time!

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!

4 thoughts on “It’s Advent Bracket time!

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