Now the most published Christmas hymn in North America, Joy to the World was written in 1719 by British writer , based on Psalm 98 and a passage in Genesis 3:17. Throughout the years, the carol changed somewhat, finally settling on the 1848 version from the National Psalmist, as a tune named “Antioch” and mistakenly attributed to George Frideric Handel. The confusion likely came from the similarity of Joy To The World to Handel’s Lift Up Your Heads composition from Messiah in 1742.

Pentatonix performing Joy to the World from the album That's Christmas to Me (Deluxe Edition) (2014).

Since then, Joy To The World has been recorded by Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Neil Diamond, Vic Damone, Pat Boone and the Supremes. In modern pop culture, the song’s third verse (“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”) is considered a little too intense for small children and is taken out.


Joy to the world, the Lord has 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 World, the Savior 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