1000 Songs/Joy to the world the Lord is come (Isaac Watts)

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Joy to the world (Watts)

1000 Songs

Text[edit | edit source]

The text is derived from Psalm 98.
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.

Author[edit | edit source]

The author is Isaac Watts in 1719, who is considered to be the Father of British Hymnody due to writing over 750 hymns, many of which are still used today (including Joy to the World).

Editor's Choice[edit | edit source]

The standard text is excellent, but limiting the hymn to verses 1, 2 and 4 is a good idea. Typically, people don't know verse 3.

Music[edit | edit source]

The music itself is rather simple. The hymn is in the key of D major and in the time signature 2/4. The melody is singable, with a range of just one octave (originally D4 to D5 in scientific pitch notation. The largest leap is an octave, with most other movement in the hymn being stepwise.

Tune[edit | edit source]

The tune of this hymn is called ANTIOCH. ANTIOCH was written by Georg Friedrich Händel

Arrangements[edit | edit source]

This page contains a few arrangements. One of the arrangements seen is in 6/8 time, which is very unusual.

Editor's Choice[edit | edit source]

This arrangement is a pretty typical arrangement.

Background[edit | edit source]

Author biography[edit | edit source]

Isaac Watts was born in Southampton, England on July 17th, 1674 and died on November 25th, 1748. Isaac Watts was a very important man as far as modern hymnody. He opened up the pathway to extra-biblical texts being used for Christian hymns. He wrote the texts for over 750 hymns, many of which are still used today.

Cultural setting[edit | edit source]

The cultural setting of this hymn is actually kind of interesting. It was not originally meant to be a Christmas hymn, but just a praise to God. Now it is one of the most widely sung Christmas hymns, and is the most published hymn in North America.