"The Weary Blues" by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was one of the leading poets of the Harlem Renaissance. The speaker of this poem describes listening to a musician play the blues. Read the full text here.
Read more...

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. drone
    make a monotonous low dull sound
    Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
    Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
    I heard a Negro play.
  2. drowsy
    half asleep
    Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
    Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
    I heard a Negro play.
  3. syncopated
    stressing a normally weak beat
    Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
    Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
    I heard a Negro play.
  4. mellow
    unhurried and relaxed
    Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
    Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
    I heard a Negro play.
  5. dull
    emitting or reflecting very little light
    Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
    By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
    He did a lazy sway....
  6. pallor
    unnatural lack of color in the skin
    Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
    By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
    He did a lazy sway....
  7. weary
    physically and mentally fatigued
    He did a lazy sway. . . .
    To the tune o’ those Weary Blues.
  8. ebony
    a very dark black
    With his ebony hands on each ivory key
    He made that poor piano moan with melody.
  9. ivory
    a shade of white the color of bleached bones
    With his ebony hands on each ivory key
    He made that poor piano moan with melody.
  10. melody
    a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence
    With his ebony hands on each ivory key
    He made that poor piano moan with melody.
  11. sway
    move back and forth
    Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
    He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
  12. rickety
    inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
    Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
    He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
  13. melancholy
    characterized by or causing or expressing sadness
    In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
    I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan—
    “Ain’t got nobody in all this world,
    Ain’t got nobody but ma self.
    I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’
    And put ma troubles on the shelf.”
  14. tone
    the quality of a person's voice
    In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
    I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan—
    “Ain’t got nobody in all this world,
    Ain’t got nobody but ma self.
    I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’
    And put ma troubles on the shelf.”
  15. chord
    a combination of three or more notes that blend harmoniously
    He played a few chords then he sang some more—
    “I got the Weary Blues
    And I can’t be satisfied.
    Got the Weary Blues
    And can’t be satisfied—
    I ain’t happy no mo’
    And I wish that I had died.”
  16. satisfy
    make happy
    He played a few chords then he sang some more—
    “I got the Weary Blues
    And I can’t be satisfied.
    Got the Weary Blues
    And can’t be satisfied
    I ain’t happy no mo’
    And I wish that I had died.”
  17. croon
    sing softly
    And far into the night he crooned that tune.
    The stars went out and so did the moon.

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.