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Joy to the World

Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band play the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the World’ – track 10 from their album Carols & Capers.

Joy to the World

Isaac Watts, one of the greatest English hymn writers, wrote ‘Joy to the World’ and published it in 1719. It is based on Psalms 96–100, in particular Psalm 98. Here are the lyrics.

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
Let men* their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.

*In the 18th century ‘men’ was used to mean ‘human beings’, both male and female; today the line could be changed to ‘Let all their songs employ;’ to be more inclusive.

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