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air n Cp 0ED ~ 19 'a piece of music...to be sung or played as a "solo".' A tune, known to a group of singers or performers by its title, to which a newly composed ballad may be sung.
   [1894] 1982 BURKE (ed Kirwin) 11 "The July Fire": Air: McGinty. 1895 Eve Herald 17 Dec These songs are all sung to airs which have a strong family likeness to each other. 1902 Daily News 6 Dec, p. 3 [song by James Murphy] "The Short and Long of It": AIR:-- 'A Pretty Kettle of Fish.' [1929] 1982 MADISON (ed) 11 [On seeing lady writing down musical notes] 'Look well, b'ys,' said a man once, 'for you never seed anything to equal it. Them scratches is the 'h'air.' 1985 ASHTON 149 'Often the final words of the song are spoken. Emphasis within the [Newfoundland song] tradition is upon the words rather than the tune (or 'air').'

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