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.
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.
A broadside is a volley of cannon fire, particularly in naval battles between large ships in the days of sail. Many cannon along one side of a ship would fire at the same time, targeting an appropriately positioned enemy.