For Advent, For Christmas Eve, For Christmas
Joy To The World - The
Popular Version of Watts, alt.
Joy To The World - The Original Version by Watts
Joy To The World - Joshua Sylvester [this file]
Joy To The World - William Henry Husk
Joy To The World - Richard R. Terry
Joy To The World - Dr. Steve H. Hakes
Source: Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861), p. 117.
1. Joy to the world, the Lord is come,
Let earth receive her King;
Let every tongue with sacred mirth
His loud applauses sing.
2. Hark, hark, what news, what joyful news,
To all the nations round;
To-day rejoice, a King is born,
Who is with glory crown'd.
3. Behold! He comes, the tidings spread,
A Saviour full of grace:
He comes, in mercy, to restore
A sinful, fallen race.
Amongst all the jubilant carols this is certainly the greatest favorite with the good people of Devon and Cornwall. The tune to which it is usually sung is very fine. The carol may date back to the beginning of the last century, but it is probably more recent.
Note that Hugh Keyte, an editor of The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) believes that "Joshua Sylvestre" is a pseudonym for a collaboration between William Sandys (1792-1874) and William Henry Husk (1814-1887). See Appendix 4.
This is a carol which is greatly admired in Devonshire and Cornwall, and obtains a place in many a collection of sheet carols printed in the West. It is certainly a hundred and fifty years of age, and may be even older. The first two lines are identical with those of a hymn by Isaac Watts, produced about 1709, of which the third and fourth lines are --
“Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing;”
but the remainder is entirely different. Perhaps the popularity of Watt's verses may have tempted the carolist to commit a little plagiarism.
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