Welcome to my musical countdown to Christmas, Day 5. You may also want to read about the carols and composers from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. Don’t forget to leave a comment for an opportunity to win my gift of the day.
Who was Isaac Watts?
- Born on July 17, 1674 in Southampton, England
- He complained to his father that the songs of the church were hard to sing; his father told him to write something better
- Learned Greek, Hebrew, and Latin
- 1696 became a tutor
- 1702 became a pastor
- Struggled with poor health
- Wrote books on geography, astronomy, grammar, and philosophy, but he’s most famous for the more than 700 hymns/poems which he wrote both for adults and children. Most of his poetry and hymns were based on Scripture passages.
- Considered the “Father of English hymnody”
- Awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree by the University of Edinburg
The story behind Joy to the World
- Written in 1719 under a tree on the Abney Estate near London, England
- Based on Psalm 98
- Original theme of the song was the second coming of Jesus
- Watt’s poem was set to music over 100 years later by Lowell Mason
Historical context (1719)
- Daniel Defoe published Robinson Crusoe
- First recorded sighting of the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) in New England
Looking for more details?
My gift for today
Leave a comment below to be entered in a draw for the devotional book, Rise. This book has 32 weeks of devotionals for students in their first year of college, written by ninety-two different authors.