cry the blues

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cry the blues (third-person singular simple present cries the blues, present participle crying the blues, simple past and past participle cried the blues)

  1. (music) To sing in the style of blues music.
    • 1958, "Best of the Blues," Time, 1 Sep.:
      "Young people have forgotten how to cry the blues," said Big Bill Broonzy as he lay dying in a dark room above the littered streets of Chicago's Negro South Side.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) To complain, especially in order to obtain sympathy for one's own purportedly sad situation.
    • 1934, "Slang Declared Barometer Of Nation's State Of Mind," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3 Oct., p. 15 (retrieved 20 Nov. 2008):
      "The average citizen gets an extreme emotional delight in ‘crying the blues’ to anyone who might lend an attentive ear."
    • 2006, Ben Stein, "Everybody's Business," New York Times, 9 Jul. (retrieved 20 Nov. 2008):
      We have immense corporations that cry the blues all day long about how their pension costs are ruining them.