Saturday 26 December 2015

Isaac Watt's "Joy to the World"

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 heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the World, written by Isaac Watts in 1719, is based on Psalm 98 in the Bible.  Rather than glorifying God's entry into the world as a newborn baby, the carol heralds God's triumphant return to Earth at the end of the age, bringing Salvation to humanity.  The song was adapted and arranged from an older melody by Lowell Mason in 1839.  As late as the 20th Century, Joy to the World was the most published hymn in North America.  It was the final hymn at my childhood church's Christmas Eve service every year.
In 1965, the Supremes recorded Joy to the World for their Christmas album Merry Christmas.  Andy Williams recorded the song for his Christmas Present LP in 1974.  Faith Hill recorded the song for her Joy to the World album in 2008.  For an a cappella performance, visit


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