Hymn #47: Joy to the World

Lyrics: Isaac Watts, 1719.

Music: According to Wikipedia, “The music was adapted and arranged by Lowell Mason from an older melody which was then believed to have originated from Handel [1], not least because the theme of the refrain (And heaven and nature sing…) appears in the orchestra opening and accompaniment of the recitative Comfort Ye from Handel’s Messiah, and the first four notes match the beginning of the choruses Lift up your heads and Glory to God from the same oratorio. However, Handel did not compose the entire tune.”

I didn’t know that.

Theme: No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:3-5.

I don’t know what either Handel or Lowell Mason would have thought, but I like Mannheim Steamroller:

My urchins prefer the Jonas Brothers.

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

Joy to the Earth! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, 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,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, 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,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

C.S. Lewis: “I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.”

Pope Benedict XVI: “But let us also think of those, especially young people, who have lost the sense of authentic joy, and who seek it in vain where it is impossible to find: in the exasperated race for self-affirmation and success, in false amusements, in consumerism, in moments of drunkenness, in the artificial paradise of drugs and of other forms of alienation.”

Louise Bogan: I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!

Emily Dickinson: ‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy! If I should fail, what poverty! And yet, as poor as I Have ventured all upon a throw; Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so this side the victory!”

Samuel Shoemaker: “The surest mark of a Christian is not faith, or even love, but joy.”

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