19th Century Songsheets

For our sing-along performances and discussions, we rely on contemporary songsheets from the “AMERICA SINGING” collection at the Library of Congress:

“For most of the nineteenth century, before the advent of phonograph and radio technologies, Americans learned the latest songs from printed song sheets. Not to be confused with sheet music, song sheets are single printed sheets, usually six by eight inches, with lyrics but no music. … Song sheets are an early example of a mass medium and today they offer a unique perspective on the political, social, and economic life of the time, especially during the Civil War.” — America Singing

NOTE: For more sources, also see Duke University’s collection, “Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920”

Here are some of the printable songsheets we use:

 

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