Minnesotans love buying sappy Christian music
|Photo courtesy of NewSong's Facebook|
Amidst the recent flurry of lists documenting the popularity of bands and songs by each respective state, comes an odd but distinctive list that breaks down the most favored songs of each state based upon sheet music sales.
Musicnotes created a list that they are calling, "Uniquely Popular Sheet Music by State (plus D.C.)," which draws from the best-selling sales figures of sheet music titles by the nation's top digital music e-retailer and sheet music publisher. And, the results for Minnesota will certainly surprise you.
While some of the most popular sheet music songs are recognizable hits from prominent artists, like Rihanna's "Stay" in Arizona, Michael Bublé's "Feeling Good," in Illinois, Simon & Garfunkel's classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in Louisiana, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" in Massachusetts, Claude Debussy's gorgeous "Clair de Lune"in Nevada, and, fittingly, Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" in New York, Minnesota's top selling sheet music piece is "When God Made You," by NewSong, a title and an artist that are both quite surprising in their own right.
NewSong is a Grammy-nominated Christian band from Atlanta who have cultivated quite a devoted following over the years. But still, their inclusion on this list representing Minnesota was quite unexpected, and caused me to dig deeper into their hit song as well as the band themselves.
Obviously the tenderhearted, religious-based (and decidedly saccharine) lyrics of "When God Made You" have hit home for many Minnesotans, as well as music fans across the United States. Two simple lyric videos for the track (amongst a wide array of home made clips of the song) both have over a million views on YouTube, with the one featured below currently at 4.5 million views.
"When God Made You" (featuring the vocal contributions of Natalie Grant, with music and lyrics by Eddie Carswell and Michael O'Brien) has obviously touched an emotional nerve within the fans of music -- and love -- everywhere, and specifically right here at home in Minnesota.
The sentimental number is clearly a wedding favorite, with emotionally drenched lyrics and a spare, heartfelt arrangement that seems tailor made for first dances at receptions everywhere. And the rather simple song can be performed by everyone, from polished professional musicals all the way to your shy Aunt Sue. But other than the affectionate religious undertones of the track, there really isn't any single defining characteristic that makes this song so uniquely Minnesotan.
But the criteria for Musicnotes selections for each state were limited to a two and a half month time period between January and March of 2013. So, perhaps the spike in purchases and downloads of the sheet music for "When God Made You" was tied to performers prepping for upcoming weddings planned for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.
Here is the full explanation of the selection process by Musicnotes: "To compile the list, Musicnotes looked at the top 50 selling songs from January 1, 2013 to March 13, 2013 for each state. They then excluded titles appearing on their all-around best-sellers list (to focus on those songs whose popularity was unique to the individual state). Sheet music selections statistically more popular in each state than in any other state, based on total number of downloads, were deemed the winners."
See the most popular songs from every state below.