The holiday season, for many of us, is a joyful time. One of the things I like most about this time of year is the singin of Christmas carols, which is what I'm discussing here the next several weeks.
The poet Isaac Watts must have felt that same joy as well. Watts, an Englishman, is the one who is credited with penning the words of "Joy To The World" in the early 1700's. George Mason, an American teacher and choir director, arranged the music for the hymn in the mid-1800's, taking some of the musical phrases from the composer George Frederick Handel. Mason wrote several other hymns, including "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross".
The words of Joy To The World are based on Psalm 98 in the Old Testament, particularly verses 4-9. Verse 4 says, "break forth into joyous song and sing praises. The refrain, "let Heaven and nature sing" refers to the waters, creatures, and the hills (verses 7 and 8). Verse 9 refers to th Lord coming to "judge the world with righteousness".
For those who believe in the true meaning of Christmas, that Jesus was born and is our Savior, this time of year brings lots of joy.
Enjoy the music!