Lyrical songs. The largest and most popular group of Ukrainian folk songs, they are songs of relatively recent origin expressing the feelings and moods of individuals. The genre developed out of calendric ritual folk poetry, ballads, and laments and became well established in the 16th century. It includes a broad range of themes, and although there is yet no universally accepted classification scheme, lyrical songs are often divided into two groups, songs about social life and songs about family life. The first includes Cossack songs (such as ‘Ikhav kozak na viinonku’ [A Cossack Was Going Away to War]) and serf songs, recruits' and soldiers' songs, chumak songs(such as ‘Oi, u poli krynychenka’ [A Well in the Field] or ‘Huliav chumak na rynochku’ [A Chumak Caroused in the Market]), wanderers' and migrant laborers' songs, and servants' songs. The second group consists of lullabies, love songs (such as ‘Povii vitre na Vkrainu’ [Blow, Wind, into Ukraine] or ‘Oi, ziidy, ziidy, iasen misiatsiu’ [Rise, Bright Moon]), women's songs, and humorous songs. Lyrical songs are usually built in the form of a monologue or dialogue (a conversation between parents and a son or daughter or between two lovers [e.g., ‘Oi, divchyno, shumyt’ hai’ (O Girl, the Orchard is Rustling)]). Poetic devices, such as psychological parallelism, similes, symbols, epithets, and metaphors, are used extensively. Rhythmically, lyrical songs evolved from a free recitative to a syllabic verse and then to regular syllabo-tonic symmetry.
The oldest examples of lyrical songs date from the 16th century, but these examples of genre were not published until the end of the 18th century. They are assigned a particularly important place in 19th- and 20th-century song collections. The more important collections published in and outside Ukraine are Lira (The Lyre, 1945), B. Zarevych's Velykyi spivannyk (The Great Songbook, nd), and H. Sydorenko's Ukraïns’ki narodni pisni (Ukrainian Folk Songs, 3 vols, 1964–7). The Institute of Fine Arts, Folklore, and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR published a series of song collections including Pisni Iavdokhy Zuïkhy (The Songs of Yavdokha Zuikha, 1965) (see Yavdokha Zuikha), Zhartivlyvi pisni (Humorous Songs, 1967), Tantsiuval’ni pisni (Dance Songs, 1970) (see Dance songs), Rekruts’ki ta soldats’ki pisni (Recruits' and Soldiers' Songs, 1974), Naimyts’ki ta zarobitchans’ki pisni (Servants' and Laborers' Songs, 1975), Chumats’ki pisni (Chumak Songs, 1976), Vesil’ni pisni (Wedding Songs, 1982), and Dytiachyi fol’klor (Children's Folkore, 1984). The more important regional collections of lyrical songs are L. Yashchenko's Bukovyns’ki narodni pisni (Bukovynian Folk Songs, 1964), Z. Vasylenko's Zakarpats’ki narodni pisni (Transcarpathian Folk Songs, 1962), Volodymyr Hoshovsky's Narodnye pesni Zakarpat’ia (Folk Songs of Transcarpathia, 1971), N. Prysiazhniuk's Pisni Podillia (Songs of Podilia, 1976), and Yurii Kostiuk, Yu. Tsymbora, and A. Duleba's Ukraïns’ki narodni pisni Skhidnoï Slovachchyny (Ukrainian Folk Songs of Eastern Slovakia, 3 vols, 1958–77)
Encyclopedia of Ukraine