Broadside

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 Broadside (1984)
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USS Iowa Broadside (1984)

A broadside is the side of a ship; the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their simultaneous (or near simultaneous) fire in naval warfare.


Printed lyrics of folk songs were extremely popular from the 16th century until the early 20th century. They were commonly known as broadsides or broadsheets. Over time, the name came to refer to any printed matter confined to one side of a single sheet of paper, such as handbills, advertisements, posters, etc.

Broadsides were generally printed on one side of a single sheet of paper, and included only the lyrics and a note designating the tune. Since folk tunes were used and reused, people generally only needed to learn the words. It was a common practice to paste the sheets to a wall, and consult them until the song was learned, after which they were torn down or pasted over with another broadside.

One of the first known broadsides was A Lytel Geste of Robyne Hood, printed in 1506. They became immensely popular through most of western Europe, England and the United States. After a brief burst of popularity in the late 19th century, broadsides fell into decline and were completely supplanted by other media in the early 20th century.

It is not uncommon in the 21st century, however, to find broadsides published at local cultural events, in particular poetry readings or art show openings. In this case the broadsides commemorate the event with samples of the art in question.


A broadside is a large sheet of paper, generally printed on one side and folded into a smaller size, often used as a direct-mail piece or for door-to-door distribution. Traditionally, printed works were printed on broadside sheets, then folded and cut to produce books of a smaller page size than the original sheet.

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