Radio 3 Carol Competition 2018

It's time to vote

Back in September, BBC Radio 3 challenged amateur composers around the UK to create new music for The Bee Carol, a poem by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. We received hundreds of entries, and our panel of judges - headed by composer Bob Chilcott - has whittled them down to a final shortlist of six.

Now it's time to decide the winner! Scroll down to listen to all six original carols before voting for your favourite on this page. Full terms and conditions can be found below the vote.

Details of the winning carol will be announced on Radio 3 Breakfast on Friday 21 December 2018 and published here on the Radio 3 website.

The Bee Carol

Silently on Christmas Eve,
the turn of midnight’s key;
all the garden locked in ice –
a silver frieze –
except the winter cluster of the bees.

Flightless now and shivering,
around their Queen they cling;
every bee a gift of heat;
she will not freeze
within the winter cluster of the bees.

Bring me for my Christmas gift
a single golden jar;
let me taste the sweetness there,
but honey leave
to feed the winter cluster of the bees.

Come with me on Christmas Eve
to see the silent hive –
trembling stars cloistered above –
and then believe,
bless the winter cluster of the bees.

Carol Ann Duffy (2011)