Joy To The World

With its stirring beginning and joyous lyrics, it’s not hard to understand how Joy to the World has long remained in the top list of Christmas carols. Every year, Joy to the World is frequently played and sung by revelers internationally. Its exaltation for the joy of the holiday season and birth of Christ are evident. With its illustrious origins and

The lyrics for Joy to the World were written by Isaac Watts, who was also called the “Father of English Hymnology.” The lyrics to this particular carol were written in 1719. The lyrics were part of an English psalm tune in the 1830’s. In particular, the text and lyrics were a paraphrase of Psalm 98, a joyful rendition of the birth of Christ and the holiday season in general. Lowell Mason composed the melody to accompany the written words.

Researchers thought for decades that the melody that Mason used to write Joy to the World was at least partly based on Messiah by George Frederick Handel. After all the original score by Mason was said to have the words “from George Frederick Handel” in the corner. Mason was also a devout student of the composer and enjoyed his works tremendously so the influence of the composer could have been easily attributed. However, this often-stated fact is not true. For over a century, Handel was attributed to playing a role in this carol in order to promote its popularity. It was quite popular to associate Handel with a Christmas carol or tune in order to cement its role as one of the top Christmas carols of our day. The credit for the song actually belongs to King David himself, many researchers now believe. The tune was named after the city of Antioch in Syria, which is where believers of the faith were first called “Christians.” In this way, Joy to the World is one of the oldest and most established Christmas carols that we still sing every year.

Joy to the World

Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Music: Arr. from G.F. Handel by Lowell Mason, 1792-1872

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let all their songs employ;
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love.

Get the music for ‘Joy To The World‘.

Here is an easy way to learn Joy To The World with the guitar.

One of The Most Sacred Christmas Tunes

Musicologists have spent years determining the origins of this song and its different variations. However, it is obvious that Joy to the World is one of the oldest and most established Christmas carols ever. Great praise has been lauded on Isaac Watts, the creator of this magnificent song’s lyrics. More than a century after the lyrics were first written and placed into the public consciousness, an 1839 collection called The Modern Psalmist printed a version of the song. In the publication, the first notation of “from Handel” was referred, spurring researchers to believe that the carol was written or at least heavily influenced by Handel himself. Over the years, scholars have refuted the Handel hypothesis and proven that any connection to the composer would be weak at best.

No matter what the exact origins of this carol might be, Joy to the World is considered to be one of the most sacred Christmas tunes. With its uplifting message of declaration to Christians, people have been drawn to its tune year after year, promoting its popularity for well over a century.

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