The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Joy to the World

The Kingdom of Christ

For Christmas

Words: Joy To The World by Isaac Watts,
Psalms of David, Psalm 98, 1719.
Version by Dr. Steve H. Hakes 2015; Used with permission.

Music: "Antioch," Lowell Mason, 1848.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Source: Dr. Steve H. Hakes, Joy To The World
@ Lyricology Hub: Christian Songs for Life

1. Joy to the world, the lord has come
The earth received her king
May every heart
welcome the special son1
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

2. Joy to the earth, the saviour reigns!
Let us our songs employ
While fields and woods
rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

3. No more need sin, and sorrow grow
Nor thorns infest our ground
He came to make
God's blessings flow
Far as the curse was found
Far as the curse was found
Far as, far as, the curse was found.

4. Soon all the world, shall see his face
The nations look above
We'll see his glory
the fullness of his grace
And wonders of his love
And wonders of his love
And wonders, wonders, of his love.

Note by Dr. Hakes

This was written by Isaac Watts in 1719, and loosely based on parts of Ps.98, where Yahweh's people are urged to a mega celebration over his decisive kingly victory and justice, shining particularly through his covenant people, and in which nature, even the mountains, will delight and other positive results will from soon be seen by others. It has been said that war is the aggravation of the normal human situation, such is abnormal man. Watts looked for the still soon to be return of King Jesus, which will end the cause of wars. God's son, the true king, had made his decisive victory through incarnation and crucifixion, and his return will complete the two-stage plan of global redemption and shalom (Luke 2:102). Nature shall fully rejoice when Gen. 3:17's3 curse ends (Romans 8:19-224), but even now we see glimmers of that light.

Footnote by Dr. Hakes

1. This is less imperfect rhyme. A Wesley song had Late in Time behold him come, Offspring of a Virgin's Womb. Watts had Joy to the world, the Lord is come / Let every heart prepare him room. Possibly dialect once had come have the same oom sound as womb and room. Keeping 'come', something ending in 'not shun' would be perfect rhyme, but would turn a positive accept, to a negative don't refuse. Watts' rhyming fails with stanza 5: He rules the world. Return

Editor's Footnotes

2. Luke 2:10.  "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." King James Version. Return

3. Genesis 3:17. "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;" King James Version. Return

4. Romans 8:19-22. " 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." King James Version. Return

Editor's Note

This carol is the result of work by Dr. Steve H. Hakes, who created the website Lyricology in order to help authors improve their songs. He writes:

Lyricology is dedicated to the proposition that not all songs are created equal, that the most important songs are Christian songs, and that Christian songs that do not perform well, let down the faith they claim to serve. Christian songs that perform well, lift hearts & minds in joy. The site encourages the bad to become good, the good to become better, the better to become best, and the best to be loved.

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