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cry the blues

1. Literally, to sing blues music or in that style. There was this old man crying the blues at the bar last night; it was a really moving bit of music.
2. By extension, to complain, whine, or express grief, especially as a means of gaining sympathy from others. Many people will cry the blues over trivial inconveniences, while millions of others silently suffer real hardships every day.
See also: blues, cry

have the blues

To be or feel generally sad or melancholy. I don't know what it is, but I find I always have the blues on Sundays.
See also: blues, have

baby blues

1. A usually brief period of sadness, anxiety, and mood swings experienced by a large percentage of women after giving birth. When I had the baby blues after having my first child, I would find myself crying without knowing why.
2. Blue eyes, especially those that are light blue. I just had to ask for Sean's number after I got a glimpse of his baby blues—I'd never seen such striking eyes before!
See also: baby, blues


1. sadness; a mood of depression. (*Typically: get ~; have ~.) You'll have to excuse Bill. He's getting the blues thinking about Jane. I get the blues every time I hear that song.
2. a traditional style of popular music characterized by lyrics expressing hardship, lost love, etc. Buddy had been singing the blues ever since the Depression.

sing the blues

to complain Computer programmers are singing the blues because business is bad and no one is hiring.
Etymology: based on the type of music called the blues (a musical form in which songs often are about difficulties or bad luck)
See also: blues, sing

the baby blues

a feeling of sadness that some women experience after they have given birth to a baby According to this article, as many as 60% of women suffer from the baby blues.
See cry like a baby, throw the baby out with the bath water, wet the baby's head
See also: baby, blues

have the blues

Also, feel blue. Feel depressed or sad, as in After seeing the old house in such bad shape, I had the blues for weeks, or Patricia tends to feel blue around the holidays. The noun blues, meaning "low spirits," was first recorded in 1741 and may come from blue devil, a 17th-century term for a baleful demon, or from the adjective blue meaning "sad," a usage first recorded in Chaucer's Complaint of Mars (c. 1385). The idiom may have been reinforced by the notion that anxiety produces a livid skin color. Also see blue funk.
See also: blues, have
References in periodicals archive ?
in the heart of Sonoma County, said he was familiar with the work of bluesman Davis.
I Say Me For a Parable: The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman.
Jackson plays a reformed bluesman in "Black Snake Moan," which opens March 2.
In 1990, he met and established a partnership with the legendary bluesman Johnny Shines.
He first came to prominence in mid-1960s America where he won acclaim as a bluesman, but a bluesman with a difference.
This is a full-length biography of the electrifying bluesman and rock 'n' roller who began his music career playing juke joints throughout the Mississippi Delta after working as a sharecropper.
The best known version is by legendary bluesman Taj Mahal.
Not that the often excellent fan-published blues journals aren't represented: Included are "Juke Boy's Blues" (Blues Unlimited's evocative 1974 portrait of Houston bluesman Juke Boy Bonner) and "Blues as a Secular Religion" (Blues World, 1970).
Every conceivable black actor or singer has been mentioned for the role of the '30s Mississippi bluesman, but the search can stop now.
To support this sale, Northwest will introduce a new broadcast and print advertising campaign featuring legendary bluesman Willie Murphy.
Bearded Butler, star of 300, performed with cabaret star Lady Rizzo before belting out soul standard Mustang Sally with bluesman Mayer.
Another longtime Mississippi bluesman from the Piney Woods region, south of the Delta," says Short of Ulmer.
BB KING AND JOHN MAYALL Cardiff International Arena Tel: 029 2022 4488 The Mississippi blues legend BB King is touring with the pioneering English bluesman Mayall on a great double bill.
The first four albums from the outfit guided by the lean, long Australian (right) who doubles as mad-eyed priest and penitential bluesman get the reissue treatment.