How did the composer, Isaac Watts come up with this beautiful phrasing? According to this article, the joyous song [haha see what I did there? Pun intended.] was based this passage in Psalms 98.
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises."
I find it very interesting to note that this scripture is actually about Christ's second coming. Watts realized this and wanted to relate the prophesied joy of the second coming to the Savior's first coming long ago on that night in Bethlehem.
I love this song because it shows how joyful celebrating the Lord's birth is, and how wondrous it will be when He returns again. Truly, both comings bring true and everlasting "joy to the world".
This hymn sounds lovely no matter who sings it, but this arrangement performed by David Archuleta and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is one of my favorites.
May your days be filled with Joy this Christmas season!