Joy to the World: The Story Behind the Carols

“The history of the popular ‘Joy to the World’ is truly unusual. Its lyrics originated in the Old Testament as published in Isaac Watt’s 1719 translation of the Psalms of David. When American composer Lowell Mason set these words to music in 1839, he added a notation alluding to George Frideric Handel as lyricist (it was common to attribute a song to Handel in those days in order to generate popularity).

Thus, for over a century, the world believed that Handel had composed the song’s lyrics. Ultimately, careful sleuthing by musicologists unearthed the truth, and credit was restored to the rightful source: King David.”

I thought this was really interesting so I looked around a bit and it seems the words of King David were in Psalm 98, specifically verses 4-9 which say:

“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout joyfully before the King, the LORD. Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.”

I love it!

Source: TLC’s website


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