Joy to the World, the Song and the Story

Composer Isaac Watts Writes Joy to the World



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The Scripture-based words of Joy To the World were written by renowned Methodist Minister Isaac Watts (see: Story of Hymns) in 1719. The original music score is attributed entirely to Handel. The music familiar to this current generation was adapted from various songs and composers (including Handel) into an arrangement by Lowell Mason.

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Lowell Mason (1792-1872) was at the forefront of radical changes to music practices of his day. He is considered largely responsible for introducing music into the American public school system. As music director of a large Presbyterian church, he boldly changed the accepted program format from that of professional choirs and orchestras to congregational singing accompanied by organ music. One can almost hear the excitement of his congregation in 1836 as they lifted their voices with freedom to sing for the first time, Joy To the World.

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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! the Saviour 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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Behold, I bring good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. (Luke 2:10)

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Written by: Connie Ruth Christiansen