A somewhat comprehensive list of versions of "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," ranked and graded

I'm doing this on the train instead of reading because it's important
  1. Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Classic af. The crescendos and decrescendos are particularly powerful. I feel like kind of an asshole reviewing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This is also the only one that makes me cry. A +
  2. Bright Eyes
    Underrated af. The random percussive stuff and whatever they do to make the sound of wind is incredible, and it captures something about the song that so many versions miss—it's both profoundly lonely and filled with hope. There's an honest reverence to this song that is sobering (in the right way). A +
  3. Frank Sinatra
    The choir is a little showboat-y, sure, but that's his schtick and he really tones it down here—the whole thing is very quiet and genuine. A
  4. Nat King Cole
    I basically feel the same way about this one as I feel about ol' Frankie. It's pretty classic and pretty great. If I had to choose one, it would be Sinatra. Close call though. A
  5. Ella Fitzgerald
    I love this one because even though it's backed with classic strings, she stays so true to her own style. She sings it the way you'd read a storybook to a child—with the right emphasis. The flute's not my favorite but everything else is great. A -
  6. Dolly Parton
    Sweet and genuine. I love that she made no attempt to sound like any other version—it's twangy and simple. A -
  7. Jose Feliciano
    Honestly this isn't fair but I hold him to the bar he set with Feliz Navidad and he just ain't ever gonna touch it with anything else. Sry Jose. B -
  8. The Supremes
    Unfortunately my abiding love for the Supremes does not rescue this song for me. There's a nice crescendo at the end that breaks the monotony of the rest of the song, but overall it's disappointing. B -
  9. Burl Ives
    This one is weird because of how hard he pronounces the "r"s, which isn't really fair I guess but that's the way it is. C +
  10. Steven Curtis Chapman
    Like everything else he does, it's not BAD, but I can't listen to it without forgetting halfway through that I'm listening to it. Sorry Steven, BORED. C -
  11. Annie Lenox
    I love Annie but this one is Not Good at All. D
  12. Sarah McLachlan
    See above, but worse. D
  13. Any a cappella version of this song
    STOP 👏 THIS 👏 NOW 👏. I refuse to deign these with a grade.