Joy to the World Trivia

The beloved classic, Joy to the World, was inspired by Psalm 28. But is it really a Christmas hymn?

“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises…” – Psalm 28:4

“Joy to the World” Trivia:

  • First published by Isaac Watts in 1719
  • Music adapted by Lowell Mason, 1839
  • Handel used some of the same melody/phrasing in several places in The Messiah.
  • Original tune believed to predate Handel and is commonly known as “Antioch”.
  • Originally recorded in 1954 by Percy Faith.

The rest of the story:

“Watts wrote the words of “Joy to the World” 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.” (Wikipedia)

“For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity.” – Psalm 28:9

Perhaps our Christmas celebrations should begin to include more anticipation of Christ’s return that of the anniversary of His birth. Your thoughts?


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