From the recording Carols of Christmas
Joy to the World - Words by Isaac Watts, 1719, Music by Lowell Mason, 1848. Although Mason’s original score to the carol read, “from George Frederick Handel,” scholars believe that none of the music was actually written by Handel. Lowell Mason was an American scholar and hymn writer who was greatly influenced by Handel’s Messiah. He was the editor for the collection in which “Joy” first appeared. The words are a paraphrase of the second part of Psalm 98. Isaac Watts, who wrote the exhilarating words, is considered to be a genius and one of history’s greatest hymnists.
Deck the Halls – Old Welsh air. Possibly from the 16th century, this carol is a song of joyous celebration of the season. It may be from the canu penillion tradition, in which dancers would dance in a ring around a harpist, each dancer dropping out when he or she failed to sing a new verse. The harpist originally played the answering measures, but nonsense syllables (“fa la la la la”) were eventually substituted.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas- 16th century Traditional English. Our most well-known wassailing song!