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Joy to the World

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Lyrics by: Isaac Watts

"Joy to the World" is a popular Christmas carol. The words are by English hymn writer Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 98 in the Bible. The song was first published in 1719 in Watts' collection, The Psalms of David: Imitated in the language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship. Watts wrote the words of the song as a hymn glorifying Christ's triumphant return at the end of the age, rather than a Christmas song celebrating his first coming as a babe born in a stable. Only the second half of Watts' lyrics are still used today.

The music was adapted and arranged to Watts' lyrics by Lowell Mason in 1839 from an older melody which was then believed to have originated from Handel, not least because the theme of the refrain ("And heaven and nature sing...") appears in the orchestra opening and accompaniment of the recitative Comfort Ye from Handel's Messiah, and the first four notes match the beginning of the choruses Lift up your heads and Glory to God from the same oratorio. However, Handel did not compose the entire tune.

As of the late 20th century, "Joy to the World" was the most-published Christmas hymn in North America.

Lyrics

Joy to the world the Lord has 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 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
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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