Songs about Heaven have always been a huge portion of the Southern Gospel repertoire. But while songs about the Cross have always been present, has their presence increased in recent decades?

I decided to turn to my collection of Southern Gospel songs to do some statistical analysis. The collection is deep enough to be representative of major recordings by major groups in each decade.

  • 1950s: 4 of 408 (1%) Southern Gospel tracks include Cross or Calvary in their title. Three were hymns or classics, leaving 1 (0.2%) as a new Cross/Calvary song.
  • 1960s: 79 of 3367 (2.3%) Southern Gospel tracks include Cross or Calvary in their title. Of these, 31 were hymns or classics, leaving 48 (1.4%) as new Cross/Calvary songs.
  • 1970s: 95 of 3902 (2.4%) Southern Gospel tracks include Cross or Calvary in their title. Of these, 34 were hymns or classics, leaving 61 (1.6%) as new Cross/Calvary songs.
  • 1980s: 38 of 2736 (1.4%) Southern Gospel tracks include Cross or Calvary in their title. Of these, 7 were hymns or classics, leaving 31 (1.1%) as new Cross/Calvary songs.
  • 1990s: 110 of 4407 (2.5%) Southern Gospel tracks include Cross or Calvary in their title. Of these, 22 were hymns or classics, leaving 88 (2.0%) as new Cross/Calvary songs.
  • 2000s: 209 of 8924 (2.3%) Southern Gospel tracks include Cross or Calvary in their title. Of these, 61 were hymns or classics, leaving 148 (1.7%) as new Cross/Calvary songs.
  • 2010s: 66 of 2847 (2.3%) Southern Gospel tracks include Cross or Calvary in their title. Of these, 22 were hymns or classics, leaving 44 (1.5%) as new Cross/Calvary songs.

Eliminate duplicates for a strictly numeric count of new Cross/Calvary songs recorded by a major group each decade:

  • 1950s: 1 new Cross/Calvary song
  • 1960s: 27 new Cross/Calvary songs
  • 1970s: 36 new Cross/Calvary songs
  • 1980s: 21 new Cross/Calvary songs
  • 1990s: 56 new Cross/Calvary songs
  • 2000s: 86 new Cross/Calvary songs
  • 2010s: 29 new Cross/Calvary songs

From the 1960s on, there has been a fairly steady ratio that 1 of every 40 songs in our genre mentions the Cross or Calvary in its title. But it does seem that over the last 20 or 25 years, there has been a sharp climb in the total new Cross/Calvary songs, and, therefore, in the percentage of Cross/Calvary cuts on Southern Gospel projects that are new songs.