Good King Wenceslas-Opening Round

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It’s time for tip off, so plug in those Beats headphones and crank up your bluetooth speakers, and get ready to begin the voting for your favorite version of “Good King Wenceslas”! Now, granted, this is not the best musical choice I’ve ever made, but remember this one is about the lyrics.

This year, I only had 13 nominations. I fleshed it out with three more, so we are ready to rumble. Get your votes in by Sunday night at 5 pm PST. Please vote only once, but feel free to share the link and try to get people to vote for your favorites!

My favorite ballot box-stuffing, screaming, indignant Bethany Bylsma nominated the top seed this year. The Bills give a fun, creative, energetic Celtic feel to this hymn.

They face off against Robin Mohr’s not-really-a-nomination-but-I-put-it-in-anyway 16 seed, Horrible Histories.

Our number 8 seed goes to Larry and Carla Sue, nominated by Erin Wilson. This is an impressive arrangement and performance, as the two of them play 4 handbells each!

Nancy Swarat nominated the number 9 seed, Manhattan Transfer. You’ll have to click the link and fast forward to 13:13 for the beginning of the song.

Phil Rodin nominated crooner extraordinaire Bing Crosby, who takes the 5 seed slot. Classic, smooth.

Bing faces my “fill out the bracket” pick, 12 seed Mannheim Steamroller. This is a shout out to my parents, who spun this vinyl many times during the Christmas seasons of my youth.

I have learned my lesson, and I will no longer try to battle the hipster indie crowd. Sara Kelm’s nomination of Sufjan Stevens earns the 4 seed. (I never feel older than when I listen to Sufjan in these Advent Caroling brackets each year…)

He faces another favorite of this millennial generation, Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory in the number 13 slot. Phil Rodin didn’t really nominate this, but I put it in anyway.

Here, we have #6 seed Jane Seymour with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Listening to all of this one is a bit of a time commitment, but Jane expands on the story behind the song, dancers dance, and the big voices of the Tab Choir let it rip. Carol Sherwood offered this nomination.

Sliding in at #11 are The Muppets. They are my nemesis every year, as it seems we can’t get away from someone nominating them…this year, it was Nancy Swarat. HOWEVER, this is probably the highest seed I’ve ever given them. And it’s because it’s an instrumental. 🙂

This matchup ends up pitting two of my picks against each other, as I tried to fill out the bracket. I didn’t spend a lot of time looking, but I liked the 3 seed Skydiggers.

They face off against #14 The Piano Guys, another regular contributor to Advent Caroling Madness.

A beautiful piece comes in at #7, Michelle Beauchesne’s Cello Christmas…nominated by Bethany Bylsma.

Becky Ankeny nominated their challenger, The Irish Rovers as a 10 seed. They probably should be seeded higher, because as Becky pointed out, it says “best version” right on the YouTube description!

And for the final matchup of round one, we have a surprisingly good #2 seed, consisting of Michael Stipe from REM, Mandy Pantinkin from Broadway (but seriously, you know him as Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride), and Stephen Colbert. Davida Brown found this one, and it’s a good listen.

Hoping to put on the Cinderella slippers and advance, it’s 15 seed Hugh Grant, unexpectedly caroling on the doorstep in Love Actually.

That’s it folks! Get to work!

 

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