When I was a kid the annual School Christmas Pageant was a staple of Canadian culture. Thus it was in the small town of Coutts in 1958 (?) on the Alberta / Montana border. I was in Grade 4.
Some poor teacher had been assigned to teach all us kids to sing some Christmas Carols. I can imagine that was no easy task.
Yet, over all years I only recall two Christmas Pageants that I was in. The other was in Michichi, Alberta, a very small farm township on the Prairie.
In Coutts, I played a shepherd in our re-enactment of the Nativity. I wore an old purple robe that passed as shepherd getup. Luckily there was no sheep involved so my duties were light.
My pal Bryce Tolley sang O Little Town of Bethlehem. He had a great voice.
All was well.
The text was written by Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), an Episcopal priest, then rector of Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia and later of Trinity Church, Boston. He was inspired by visiting the village of Bethlehem in the Sanjak of Jerusalem in 1865. Three years later, he wrote the poem for his church, and his organist Lewis Redner (1831-1908) added the music.
If there's anything Barbra can't sing beautifully I haven't found it.
Pat Boone does a nice version. Yeah, he could sing pretty good.
A softer reverence ...
Many great versions ...
I give you just three.