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Isaac Watts

A young boy complained to his father that most of the church hymns were boring to him—too far behind the times, tiresome tunes and meaningless words. His father put an end to his son’s complaints by saying, “If you think you can write better hymns, then why don’t you?” The boy went to his room and wrote his first hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” The year was 1690, the teenager was Isaac Watts. “Joy to the World” is also among the almost 350 hymns written by him.

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