¡Regocijad! Jesús Nació

Sing "Joy to the World" In Spanish

Cathedral in Chiclayo, Peru, at Christmas.
The cathedral in Chiclayo, Peru, at Christmas. Photo by Chiclayonortea used under terms of Creative Commons license.

Whether you are studying the Spanish language or simply love the traditional song, "Joy to the World", explore the lyrics and Spanish translation of this classic Christmas carol. Included below are grammar and vocabulary notes to understand the deeper meaning behind the everyday speech and writing that makes up the lyrics. Study the second-person plural imperative of regocijar, learn what a plural-you command is and even discover a Spanish word so rare that it typically cannot be found in smaller dictionaries.

Read or sing the lyrics below and then dive into the linguistics:

"Joy to the World" Spanish Translation

¡Regocijad! Jesús nació, del mundo Salvador;
y cada corazón tornad a recibir al Rey,
a recibir al Rey. Venid a recibir al Rey.

¡Regocijad! El reinará; cantemos en unión;
y en la tierra y en el mar loor resonará,
loor resonará, y gran loor resonará.

Ya la maldad vencida es; la tierra paz tendrá.
La bendición del Salvador quitó la maldición,
quitó la maldición; Jesús quitó la maldición.

¡Glorias a Dios cantemos hoy! Señor de Israel,
la libertad tú le darás y tú serás su Dios,
y tú serás su Dios, Señor, y tú serás su Dios.

Grammar and Vocabulary Notes

  • Regocijad: This is the familiar  second-person plural imperative form (the vosotros form) of regocijar, which means "to rejoice." It isn't a particularly common verb. In everyday conversation, you're unlikely to hear familiar plural imperative forms of verbs much outside of Spain, as in Latin American the formal "you" (ustedes) is used even in informal contexts.
  • Del Mundo Salvador: In everyday speech or writing, you'd be much more likely to say "Salvador del mundo" for "Savior of the world." In music, however, there's considerably more latitude with word order to get the desired rhythm.
  • Tornad: Like regocijad, this is a plural-you command. Tornar typically means "to convert" or "to turn into," and it is used most frequently in a religious context. As you may have noticed, the vosotros imperative form of the verb is made simply by changing the final r of the infinitive to a d. And this is always true — there are no irregular verbs for this form.
  • En Unión: Although this phrase could be translated as "in union," a better translation would be "in unity."
  • Loor: This word is rare enough you won't find it in smaller dictionaries. It means "praise."
  • Resonaré: Resonar means "to resound" or, more poetically, "to echo."
  • La  Maldad Vencida Es: This is another case of poetic word order. In everyday speech, you'd more likely say, "La  maldad es vencida, "evil is overcome."
  • Bendición: Blessing (ben- = good, -dición = saying).
  • Quitó: Past tense of quitar, to remove.
  • Maldición: Curse (mal- = bad)
  • Señor: Although this word is often used as a courtesy title meaning the equivalent of "Mr.," it can also mean "Lord."
  • La  Libertad Tú Le Darás: This and the remainder of the song is an example of personification. The pronoun le usually isn't used to refer to things, only to people. But here it refers to Israel, which has been personified. A fairly close translation of this line to English would be, "You will give her liberty" and "You will be her God" with "her" referring to Israel.