“Joy to the World”

| December 24, 2014 | 15 Comments
Photo Credit:  Tanya Campbell

Photo Credit: Tanya Campbell

Did you know that “Joy to the World” was not originally a Christmas hymn?  One of the most published Christmas hymns in North America was actually written about Christ’s Second Coming, not His birth.  The hymn was first published in the early 1700s by English hymn writer Isaac Watts.  Only the last half of the hymn as we know it today is still sung.

There was a bit of confusion regarding to whom the music should be attributed.  Lowell Mason gave credit to George F. Handel by writing “Arr. from Handel” when he published his tune ANTIOCH in 1836.  Two small passages of the melody also appear in Handel’s Messiah.

Who doesn’t love to sing “Joy to the World” at the top of their voice?  What a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas!  Here are the lyrics.  Go ahead and sing it right now!

“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 earth! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, 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, 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, wonders, of His love.

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Category: Music and Books

About the Author ()

Tanya is a Licensed Kindermusik Educator. She studied music at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She became a licensed Kindermusik educator in 2003. Tanya enjoys teaching piano and voice in her home studio in Orleans as well as Kindermusik at the South Fallingbrook Community Centre. Tanya has participated in award winning choirs which have been featured on CBC radio. She sang at the Canadian Premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Requiem" in the choir under the direction of Dr. Elmer Iseler at Roy Thompson Hall as well as the investiture of Madame Jeanne Sauvé, 23rd Governor General of Canada. She established Kindermusik with Tanya when she recognized the need for a studio that offers high-quality musical experiences for children to enjoy with their families.

Comments (15)

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  1. Brenda A says:

    I love learning more about the history of music! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. JaimeeM says:

    Lovely post! Merry christmas!

  3. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I didn’t know that, you learn something new every day, even at my age 😉 It is a lovely Christmas hymn, thanks for sharing the lyrics.

  4. KD says:

    I love Joy To The World. It is my favourite “Christmas carol”, although I always told others that it should not be limited to Christmas because its meaning is applicable year-round.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Beautiful song Merry Christmas 🙂

  6. Heidi C. says:

    I love this hymn – thanks for sharing the history behind it.

  7. loriag says:

    Very interesting I did not know that this was not written as a Christmas song.

  8. Jenny says:

    Interesting! I did not know that so thank you for sharing. Joy to the World is such a lovely song.

  9. Victoria Ess says:

    That’s so interesting! I love this hymn!

  10. Cheryl (@loucheryl) says:

    One of my favourite Christmas carols. 🙂

  11. Stephanie LaPlante says:

    Wow I didn’t know that. Extremely interesting piece of history!

  12. kathy downey says:

    Beautiful hymn

  13. kathy downey says:

    I love Joy To The World.

  14. kathy downey says:

    I truly wish there was some way to bring Joy to the whole world

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