The words to the beautiful Christmas hymn Joy to the World were written by English composer Isaac Watts (1674-1748) in 1719. He based the lyrics on the Bible's Psalm 98, which passionately celebrated:
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth;
make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise...
make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King."
Watts was a prolific and admired composer who wrote over 600 hymns. One of his biggest fans was Benjamin Franklin who was the first to publish Watt's collection of hymns, The Psalms of David, in the United States in 1729.
The music for Joy to the World was composed in 1848 by Massachusetts-born Lowell Mason (1792-1872), often called "the father of American church music." He wrote over 1,600 religious works and had the distinction of being America's first public school music teacher and the co-founder of the Boston Academy of Music.
The collaboration of Watts and Mason created a joyous song that like all Christmas carols needs to be sung with gusto. For as writer Carmen Rutlen once said, "Christmas is time to sing 'Happy Birthday' to someone in the form of Christmas carols."
Let heaven and angels sing...