The songster or song-book originated in the 17th century as one of the earliest forms of mass-produced popular literature. The songster reached its heyday in the first half of the 19th century, though they certainly continued to appear throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. These small booklets, rarely accompanied by musical notation, appeared in a variety of themes to appeal to different audiences and tastes, from patriotic, to humorous, to forms of protest and dissent