Joy to the World

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"Joy to the World" is a popular Christmas song. English minister Isaac Watts added the words to the song. As of the late 20th century, the song was the most published Christmas hymn in North America.

Origin[change | change source]

The words of the hymn are from Isaac Watts. They are based on Psalm 98, 96:11-12 and Genesis 3:17-18. The song was first published in Watts' collection The Psalms of David in 1719.[1]

The version of this hymn heard since 1848 is from an edition by Lowell Mason for The National Psalmist. It was his fourth revision of the tune he named ANTIOCH.

Words[change | change source]

The text appears thus in The Psalms of David : imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian State and Worship (London 1719):

Psalm XCVIII. Second Part.
The Messiah's Coming and Kingdom

Joy to the World; the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields & floods, rocks, hills & plains
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.

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

Alternate lyrics[change | change source]

In the Latter-day Saints' hymn, the refrain in the first verse is "And Saints and Angels Sing".

Modern recordings, mostly those aimed at children, take out the first verse.

Recordings[change | change source]

A version from the Trinity Choir was very popular in 1911. Since then, the song has been recorded by a number of artists, including Johnny Cash, Mariah Carey, Pat Boone, Ella Fitzgerald, The Supremes and Nat King Cole.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Joy to the World". The Worship Leader. Retrieved December 25, 2018.