Here are a couple of great resources for you research geeks exploring the most popular hymns in the (western) world. This post to keep you thinking as you fill out the Wendell Kimbrough Essential Songs Survey.
“The hymns that keep on going” – The top 27 hymns published in hymnals in the last few centuries.
Most Frequently Published Evangelical Hymns, 1737-1860 (PDF)
Just to keep things interesting here is also a list of the top CCLI songs published between 1997-2012 including the top 200 from CCLI’s “Song Select” service.