"Songs of Innocence" is a collection of 19 poems written by William Blake in the 1700s. The collection was first printed as a complete work in 1789. The titles of the 19 poems include: Introduction, The Shepherd, The Echoing Green, The Lamb, The Little Black Boy, The Blossom, The Chimney Sweeper, The Little Boy Lost, The Little Boy Found, Laughing Song, A Cradle Song, The Divine Image, Holy Thursday, Night, Spring, Nurse’s Song, Infant Joy, A Dream and On Another’s Sorrow".
Aside from the above collection, Blake also wrote another set of 26 poems which were compiled in a collection he captioned "Songs of Experience". This collection was the second part of the entire compilation of "Songs of Innocent and of Experience". The entire compilation was published in 1794.
Blake wrote all the poems in a variety of ways. Each of them is written in diverse stanzas and formats. The poet wrote most of them in simple and direct language. He used several poetic devices in driving home his message. In any case all the poems were written with musical undertone. Most of them have been turned into music by several well known composers.
"Songs of Innocence" as a collection of poems has a music theme. This is clearly seen from the title. However, the poet, Blake tries to strike a balance between his two collections, namely, "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience". In the "Songs of Innocence", he tries to describe how the human spirit flourishes when it’s allowed to enjoy free movement. In "Songs of Experience", the poet describes how the human spirit suffers when it is stifled and forced to conform to certain doctrines, rules or regulations.
Actually, Blake was one of the Dissenters in the Anglican Church who frowned at some of the church’s doctrines. During his time, the Anglican Church forced its members to stifle their feelings including anger and other emotions. Blake and other Dissenters opposed this view. He used most of the poems in the "Songs of Innocence" to describe his opposition against such doctrines.