Topics: Spirituality | Society

May the best Christmas carol win

Vote in Broadview's festive song faceoff

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(Photo: Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay)

We’re not sure about all of you, but at Broadview, we turned on the Christmas tunes early this year. The prospect of spending the holidays at home, away from family, friends and church communities, has boosted our interest in hopeful, joyful music about the birth of a very special baby.

Inspired by U.S. Catholic‘s Lent Music Madness, we’ve put together a shortlist of 16 of the most beloved carols. We want you to vote for the holiest (aka your favourites).

Here’s how it works: Each week, we’ll add a new survey to this post, and ask you to vote between two songs. The next week, the winners from one side of the bracket will face off against the winners of the other. The week of Christmas, only two will be left. On Dec. 23, we’ll notify you of the winner, which we’ll feature on our social media pages with various renditions of the tune. 

Thanks for voting! “Silent Night” is our winning carol. Check our Facebook and Twitter pages to see our favourite renditions of the tune.

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  • says:

    O.little Town of Bethlehem

  • says:

    You know each of these carols has a visceral response that has nothing to do with whether or not they are the best carol.

    How about a vote on secular music that we can test out for its application to our sacred lives?

  • says:

    Silent Night

  • says:

    O Come All Ye Faithful
    Silent Night
    O little Town of Bethlehem
    Twas In The Moon of Wintertime

  • says:

    "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime", otherwise known as "Huron Carol" doesn't have a place here, not in these times. This is merely a romanticized and Christianized version of the birth of Jesus set upon an Indigenous background and is a part of the systemic, condescending, and paternalistic racism that white people have perpetrated on Indigenous folks and has nothing to do with traditional Indigenous spirituality.

    Please see the following article from UCC - https://united-church.ca/blogs/round-table/unwrapping-huron-carol.

    Replies

    • says:

      Hi Sheila,

      We published a piece on the song's difficult history a couple of years ago: https://broadview.org/the-complex-history-of-the-huron-carol/

  • says:

    Sorry - could not vote. My favourite carol didn't even get to the starting gate. Hence difficult to chose what is left.

  • says:

    Wenceslas, which is clearly the greatest carol ever, should have been up against God Rest You Merry gentlemen in the first round (and the First Noel against We Three Kings). I fear the competition officials were too easily influenced by the word King in the title, and not the context of the carol.

  • says:

    ‘Twas in the Moon
    Vs Silent Night

    Replies

    • says:

      I recall the article and history of this carol and it’s indigenous source. Acknowledging that, I still think it’s a beautiful carol.

  • says:

    ‘‘Twas in the moon of wintertime is my favourite this year and gives me faith in the universal Christmas story.

  • says:

    I can’t figure out this survey. This is my first time visiting. It might have made more sense if I had been involved earlier. My two choices, T’was in the moon of winter time #1
    Silent night #2
    Thanks

  • says:

    I can remember being introduced to this hymn as a 12-year-old acting out the story as pasrt of our Christmas concert.

  • says:

    I agree with one reader that many “favourites” aren’t even on the list. The carols you list are what I think of when I think of as “chain store music”, pops for those who have not taken the trouble to explore further. Also, as an organist, tune matters! Take O Little Town of Bethlehem for example. I can’t bear the nya, nya, nya, of the usual tune. Let’s hear it for the tune Forest Green which is seldom used.

  • says:

    Thank you all for the work you continue to do at Broadview! I missed the Carol competition but I'm very happy to see 'Silent Night' is the winner. I remember it as a young child with my sisters, when the power went out and my mother sang it to calm and reassure us. Our church ends every Christmas eve service with this carol, usually a capella in candle light - and this past year with prerecorded music and our own candles at home on Zoom. Thankfully some traditions continue! Blessings.