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the blues, (used with a plural verb) depressed spirits; despondency; melancholy:
This rainy spell is giving me the blues.
(used with a singular verb) Jazz.

a song, originating with American blacks, that is marked by the frequent occurrence of blue notes, and that takes the basic form, customarily improvised upon in performance, of a 12-bar chorus consisting of a 3-line stanza with the second line repeating the first.
the genre constituting such songs.

Contemporary Examples

Etta James, Who Blazed Trail for Women in R&B, Dead at 73 Christine Pelisek January 20, 2012
Way Out of Sarajevo Jane Ciabattari May 13, 2009
Etta James’s Son Donto Says Addiction Was Part of Famed Singer’s Life Christine Pelisek November 14, 2012

plural noun (sometimes functioning as sing) the blues
a feeling of depression or deep unhappiness
a type of folk song devised by Black Americans at the beginning of the 20th century, usually employing a basic 12-bar chorus, the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords, frequent minor intervals, and blue notes
plural noun
(Brit) the Blues, the Royal Horse Guards

see: have the blues


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