Methodology To The Madness

Once I got the bug in my bonnet on this one, it was quite fun. For a little diversion from the usual GIRM and GDC, I’m going to go ahead and run a series of 63 polls of favorite Catholic songs. I don’t think it will get nasty, and we can all keep in mind it’s a bit of fun. Authentic sacred music isn’t a popularity contest.

I have 64 songs–it wasn’t hard to get them. We’ll whittle them down to the Theological Thirty-Two, the Supernatural Sixteen, the Everlasting Eight, and so on.

I started with the NPM top-25 poll–it’s probably the most well-known, even among its detractors. Those gave me the top six seeds in each “regional.” Just for reference, here are the number ones:

White Regional: “On Eagles’ Wings”

Green Regional: “Here I Am, Lord”

Red Regional: “Be Not Afraid”

Violet Regional: “You Are Mine”

I found various top-ten lists of Gregorian chants, traditional hymns, P&W, Christmas songs, and others from multiple sources. I tried to balance each bracket with contemporary and traditional, and the various themes, publishers, and genres of songs. I excluded Mass settings or any part of the Mass. I polled my wife and daughter to order the “mid-major” songs in each color category. It’s about as random as I could get it. Though a very intriguing 3 vs 14 pairing I’ll throw up later tonight or tomorrow brought a huge laugh from my spouse. Better I suppose to have zany associations in a poll than at liturgy.

I plan to conceal the full bracket listing until we’re most of the way through round one. I’m not sure why, but perhaps the possibilities will intrigue you. Plus, I need more time to actually produce a sheet March Madness style. And I may reserve the option of substituting out one or more of the lower seeds in favor of a song you can convince me to include.

I’ll post every other day or so on this. I’ll try to highlight each song with a story about it. So if you want to avoid the polling, just tune in for the info.

That said, I won’t be responding to comments to evict a song from the list. But if you have titles that must be included in the 2012 Dance, let me know in the comments below.

Let the Madness begin.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Methodology To The Madness

  1. Liam says:

    So, how is the poll supposed to work: Are we to rank those most likely to stay on the island down to most likely to leave the island? (It’s been 30 years since I cut my teeth on ACC basketball – Ralph Sampson was in the dorm next to mine when I was a first yearman at The University – and I don’t quite get how you want this to work here).

  2. Liam says:

    PS: A car decal commonly seen on The Grounds 30+ years ago, then understood through much of The South but today is probably much more obscure:

    http://www.mincers.com/php-bin/ecomm4/products.php?large_view=1&width=410&height=407&product_id=514

    The reference goes back to a time in the 19th century when the place was the first modern-style university, before the 1860s, when Harvard modernized and The South sank into a miasma in terms of higher education for rather obvious reasons)….

  3. Todd says:

    We’ll do simple, unscientific one-on-one polls. I can set polls on WordPress to refuse repeat voters (from the same address). One song versus another. The winner moves on to the next round. The other song will be retired from competition.

    I’ll keep the polling open for 72 hours for each contest. I’ll probably overlap them in round one, have two or three going at the same time. I’ll post the first contest tonight at an hour before midnight and leave it up for three days.

    Unless someone has a better idea …

  4. Todd, I’m so glad Liam asked how this works before I. So, it’s more or less a free for all with you the NCAA? Just like in real life!

    Okay, I’m pairing Janet Sullivan Whitaker’s “Here at this table” v. “Gather us in” and hoping for a Cinderlla story ending in the western bracket.

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