12 Days of Christmas: “Joy to the World” by Natalie Grant

This version of “Joy to the World” begins with improvised gospel piano and organ and the gorgeous tone and amazing vocal embellishments of Natalie Grant on the first verse. I especially love the waterfall sound made by the piano at 0:44. After the freestyle introduction, a descending piano progression ending with two steady quarter-note chord hits kick off the upbeat portion of the song, featuring the addition of trumpets, bass, drums, and of course, a gospel choir. There are some fun chord changes throughout that make the arrangement unique compared to the tradition carol; for example, at 1:38. At the beginning of the second verse, around 2:11, there’s a dramatic moment when everything drops out on the downbeat and comes back in the syncopated beat.

If you don’t find yourself wanting to dance to this one, you’re probably dead.

Joy to the World
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
Let heaven and nature sing

He rules the world with truth and grace
He makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love


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