Historical songs

Historical songs can be defined as a genre of small epics. Being formed at first spontaneously in the bosom of other genres of song creativity, the historical song (as well as the duma) reached culminations in XVII-XVIII centuries - during Cossacks epoch in Ukraine. It gravitates to attentive supervision over historical events, over destinies of concrete heroes.

The genre "historical song" is known to all Slavic people. It is a lirical-epic product devoted to certain historical event or known historical figure. It is necessary to notice, that it is not a chronicle event, not the document in which facts play an important role; this is the work of art, therefore creative conjecture is possible in it. The main requirement to the historical song - correctly to reflect the epoch, an epoch essence, its spirit, and national orientation. In amount historical songs are less than dumas, but larger than lyrical songs. Epic character is shown in the story about events which are represented objectively, but without accurate fixing of events, and life of historical characters. There are symbolics, hyperbole, emotionally-estimated elements in the songs. N.Gogol entered in Ukrainian folklore a concept of "historical song" in his article "About Ukrainian songs" (1833). It specifies on the defining trait of the given genre: "they do not come off life and... they always correspond to the present condition of feelings". Among features of historical songs it is also necessary to note: display of the important public events and historical persons; the short story about them; presence of out-of-date words and expressions; strophe or couplet definition.
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