One of the most popular Christmas hymns, "Joy To the World," is gaining exposure to a whole new generation through the admired a cappella group that goes by the name Pentatonix. The group's version of this hymn, a song originally published nearly 300 years ago, already is being predicted to be the favorite song of the 2015 season. The setting for their recording is in a beautiful church.
Pentatonix, a well-liked five-member group, formed in 2011, and won the third season of the television show "The Sing Off." They since received a Grammy in 2015. The band has nearly 9.5 million YouTube subscribers, and their adaptation of Joy To The World garnered more than 3.1 million views in its first week after it was posted Nov. 18.
Originally published in 1719 with the music arrangement being written in 1839, Joy To The Word is considered the most published Christmas song of all time. The words are by English hymn writer Isaac Watts, based on the second half of Psalm 98 in the Bible. Watts wrote the words of "Joy to the World" as a hymn glorifying Christ's triumphant return at the end of the age, rather than a song celebrating his first coming. It's been recorded by well-known artists, such as Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, The Supremes, Whitney Houston, Andy Williams, Clay Aiken, Natalie Cole and The Allman Brothers Band.
A cappella is Italian, and can be translated as "in the manner of the chapel".
Pentatonix's debut original album is available on iTunes or at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Their holiday album for last year, "That's Christmas To Me," sold more than 1.1 million copies in the United States, becoming one of only four acts to release a platinum album in 2014.