25 Days of Christmas Songs – Day 20
Today we are turning to yet another, extraordinarily popular Christmas carol, Joy To The World.
It was written in 1719 by Isaac Watts, while the melody is believed to have originated from Handel – though credit for its transliteration is given to Lowell Mason. Though, since the melody just goes down the scale, I myself have a hard time believing it was taken from Handel. I could easily be wrong, but I just don’t necessarily agree that it was intended. Who knows…
One of the things I love about Isaac Watts is that he is credited with being the father of the English hymn. Until he started writing the church sang only psalms that had been set to music or rewritten as poetry.
So, if you have any experience with the church, you know that change is not one of the things the church does well. In fact, I could easily argue that the church is one of the most change-resistant organization on the planet. Watts had plenty of opposition, including Thomas Bradbury who was at risk of losing his position as a notable writer. Bradbury called what Watts wrote whims instead of hymns and accused him of trying to be King David.
Of course that was not true. And we are thankful that Watts carried on his great works. If he hadn’t we wouldn’t have this beloved Christmas song as well as other songs such as “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross,” “At the Cross,” “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” and literally hundreds more.
Today I am sharing with you an all piano arrangement of the song I did for my Christmas album, “When The Snow Falls.” You can purchase this song and the album on iTunes!