Holiday song tournament: Over the river to the round of 32


Onto the round of 32 in this tournament of favorite holiday songs as higher seeds fall and upstart versions move on for a chance to reach for the gold.

One of the things about creating a ranking system – whether it’s a college football poll, NCAA tournament, or the scads of “Best of” lists on the internet – is that they’ll never be completely agreed upon.

Therein lies the fun.

The same can be said as we head into the round of 32 in this yuletide tournament of favorite holiday songs. Chaos reigned supreme in the round of 64, an effect that began with the domino of Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You falling in the first round.

Results began orderly enough, with the top eight seeds in the Santa Claus region advancing. Status quo even spilled in to the White Christmas region, where the first to songs to advance were the higher seeds.

Then things unraveled, proving that my rankings were off, I enjoy different songs more than some people, or voters simply respect the underdogs. (Or maybe a combination of all three.)

By the time we reached the Candy Cane region, the lower seeds rued the day, leading to only two of the eight seeds remaining in the region holding a single-digit ranking next to their name.

Gone are such songs like Blue Christmas by Elvis (second seed, White Christmas region), Mistletoe by Justin Bieber (third seed, Candy Cane Region), and Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby & David Bowie (fifth seed, Silent Night region). 

All part of the fun.

Fun, too, is learning new versions of songs or simply being reminded of forgotten songs from the past. This version of Jingle Bell Rock by Achille Lauro & Annalisa:

I was also reminded of this great version of Up on the House Top by The Jackson 5. While the group already had two songs in the in the tourney – and one remaining in the round of 32 – they may have very well had a third had I remembered it:

Is your favorite holiday song still holding strong in the tournament? Was it there to begin with? Here is the list of the remaining 32 songs and the matchups:

Santa Claus region

  • 1) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
  • 8) Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson
  • 4) Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Jackson 5
  • 5) Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
  • 3) Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
  • 6) Jingle Bell Rock - Brenda Lee
  • 7) Sleigh Ride - The Ronettes
  • 2) Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Bruce Springsteen

White Christmas region

  • 1) White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  • 8) Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon
  • 13) Merry Christmas Baby - Chuck Berry
  • 5) The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
  • 3) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
  • 27) Let it Snow - Boyz II Men/Brian McKnight 
  • 10) Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love
  • 15) Winter Wonderland - Leona Lewis

Silent Night region

  • 1) Silent Night - Bing Crosby
  • 24) First Noel - Andy Williams
  • 20) Here We Come A-Caroling - Perry Como
  • 12) Christmas Canon - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • 30) Angels We Have Heard on High - David Archuleta
  • 6) O Holy Night - Neil Diamond
  • 23) Little Drummer Boy - Anne Murray
  • 2) Silent Night - Frank Sinatra

Candy Cane region

  • 16) Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer - Elmo & Patsy
  • 25) Underneath the Tree - Kelly Clarkson
  • 13) Please Come Home for Christmas - The Eagles
  • 21) Mele Kalikimaka - Bing Crosby/The Andrews Sisters
  • 19) Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan
  • 11) What Christmas Means to Me - Stevie Wonder
  • 7) Where Are You Christmas? - Faith Hill
  • 2) You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
Voting will take place on Twitter (@jasonrh_78) and continue throughout the month until there is only one song remaining. Check back here for more posts as the tournament continues.

Do you have a favorite song that didn't make the tournament? Or lost in an earlier round? Feel free to comment and keep the discussion going.

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