The words are by Isaac Watts but adapted from the Bible; the music is by Lowell Mason but based on a melody by Handel. Fun fact: this was, at the some point, the most published hymn in North America. It's unclear if it still is.
My favorite renditions, in no particular order:
It should go without saying by now that I'm a big fan of Natalie Cole's version. I can't help it, her Christmas albums are just awesome. I love how she uses violins go create that down south soul feeling.
I searched for a clip from Preacher's Wife of the scene where the Georgia Mass Choir and Whitney Houston sing Joy to the World. See this is what it's all about, this is a party. The picture at the beginning of the post is from this movie.
And finally, Mariah Carey also gets it, that this is a party. Plus, look at her rocking that 90s hairstyle.
I love these three versions so much that when I made my mixed CD of Christmas songs, I just put all three of them back to back. What's your favorite version?