Precursors of the modern genre "chanson" were old prison songs XVI-XIX centuries, kindred "Delete" - predatory prison songs and songs of literary origin. "Delete" were close active rogue, it was the song of those who feuded with the government and society are not willing to put up with the existing norms of life, imposing its own world - brave and terrible law. Broaching - "compassionate" songs were created by convicts. And actually bawdy songs - a product of the city. They are closely associated with the genre of urban romance and a certain literary tradition.
Most of the prison songs can be called "tearful": they are - about the hard life of prisoners. They are prisoners - "poor girl", "poor", they cry, and sad, complain about life: "I am suffering, I wept bitterly ..."; "Bitter want to cry tears ..."; "My heart beats that trapped bird"; "From melancholy torn chest ..." These songs have a link with the traditional Russian laments and lyrical songs. The hero of these songs is offended at the world. And it does not hurt a private, not a local.
She essentially existential. For the misfortune encourages people to think about the issue is not private, but the being of the order of: "Oh, why I was born? Ah, my mother gave birth to what? .. "; "To know the bitter cup to the bottom / I'll have a drink in the world! ..."; "The day passed - closer to death and freedom ..."; "In short life - in short term! ..»
Special dramatic of all the genres of poetry are different criminal ballads. These are often based on lies connected story, it tells the story of the offender, his childhood, his first love, which sometimes leads to crime, about the crime, the trial in which the hero is often pronounced penitential speech brings tears from the audience.
Action ballads are often transferred to the "zone" where the hero tries to escape, but the bullet "security officer" interrupts escape. ("Flows Rechenka on pesochechku yes", "On Moldavanka music is playing," "Hope with Smyk", "When we met with you ..."). There plotless songs, which are the main theme of the thoughts and feelings "lyrical." For example, "Taganka" - it's the lyrics in pure form. But no matter what was discussed in this song, it certainly emphasizes the suffering of melodramatic singing hero: "Who has not been in prison, does not know the price of love!»
The bawdy songs their goodies, though not those who believe society is positive. Next to them are the traditional character types: one, the traitor, "simpleton", "cops", true, or, conversely, unfaithful lovers, old mother, lawyer zaschitnichek, judge, doctor, "nachalnichek" guard ... Extraneous characters appear here not can - the world portrayed in the bawdy songs, very narrow, closed in himself and his problems.
From song to song wander motives card games and drinking, arrest, illness and death. Many songs texts characterized by well-defined vocabulary, like "Shnyrev Urca in screens have maydanschikov».
Action in these stories also occurs in well-defined areas: in a dark alley, in the park or on the city outskirts, in a restaurant, at the train station, in prison or in the "zone" in the home. A special place in the criminal song takes Siberia. Vast expanses of Eastern Russia and folklore and literary traditions were seen as "black spot" as a "prison inmates" as "the edge of tears and sorrow dedicated».
In the words of G. Uspensky, Siberia - the country in which they live "Russia is to blame." In short, a world of closed space and unusual for the uninitiated, the current time, where is the largest unit of time - the sentence and instead January 1 New Year's day becomes a day of punishment. This is a world built on the model of the prison, even if it extends beyond its borders.