It was three years ago tomorrow that I had one of my best ideas of all time: put different versions of Christmas songs into a basketball-like bracket to fight it out for the best version!
It’s morphed from a writing exercise under my full control, to a blood-thirsty, ballot-box stuffing, ALL-CAPS SCREAMING MATCH that the people now demand year after year to make their Christmas preparations complete. So it’s time–time for year number four of Advent Caroling Madness!
I’m beginning with an unorthodox choice, “Good King Wenceslas” for our first carol. I didn’t choose this one for the music, or even because it’s a carol that particularly stands out to me. Doing some research, I discovered some interesting things about this carol. Written in 1853 about a 10th century Czech King, John Mason Neale used a 300 year old Finnish tune…which gives me two family connections. On my dad’s side of the family, we are Finnish through and through. “Wenceslas” is a Latinized version of the original “Vaclav”, and on my mom’s side there’s a Czech branch of the family tree with a “Vaclav Novak”. But what sealed the choice for me was realizing this carol is about a King who notices a peasant braving a harsh winter, and takes the time to personally bring food. I want to begin Advent focusing on a government leader willing to sacrifice for the human needs of the poor among us.
When we’ve voted our way to a winner for that first choice, we will move on to the classic “What Child is This?”
For those new to this journey, here’s how it goes. You nominate your favorite versions of the chosen carol, and I will put them into a bracket. Then, we vote for winners in matchups, with each winner advancing for another round of voting until we get a final winner. I’ll begin now accepting your nominations (preferably with a public web link to the version, so we can all listen) for both “Good King Wenceslas” and “What Child is This?” You can add them as a comment here on my blog, or on my Facebook page, or by email. The deadline for Good King Wenceslas is Tuesday, December 6 at 6 pm PST; the deadline for What Child is This? is Saturday, December 17 at 6 pm PST.
Share the link! Get out the vote! Send me your nominations and get ready to vote, bicker, whine, and YELL!