play musical chairs

play musical chairs

1. Literally, to play the children's game known as "musical chairs," in which participants walk around a circle of chairs until the music stops and each person tries to sit on a chair. There are always fewer chairs than players, and the person who remains standing is removed from the game after each round, until only one remains. Mommy, can we play musical chairs at my birthday party?
2. To move, shuffle, or rearrange people from one position to another, as in a group or organization. After the boss resigned, everyone started playing musical chairs in the company to figure out who would take over for whom. We've been playing musical chairs trying to create enough space in the living room for Alex's birthday party this weekend.
See also: chair, musical, play

musical chairs, play

Move around from position to position, such as the jobs in an organization. For example, Bob took over for Tom, who took over for Mary, who got Bob's title-the boss loves to play musical chairs with the staff . This expression alludes to the children's game in which children walk around a number of seats while music plays, and there is one less chair than players. When the music stops the players must sit down, and the player who is left standing is eliminated. Then another chair is removed, and the game goes on until only one player is left sitting. [c. 1900]
See also: musical, play
References in periodicals archive ?
It is a strange proposal that reminds me of my childhood when we used to play musical chairs, normally at birthday parties.
e former farm hand was one of 15 children and often regails members of the club with tales of having to borrow seats from the neighbours if they wanted to play musical chairs.
Bookies reckon producers will play musical chairs, which will be a lot more musical than the acts.
True humility takes the lowest place and is content to be there without hoping to play musical chairs for a higher position.
Foursquare employees also make sure that they play musical chairs once in awhile, taking seats next to people that they don't normally sit next to in meetings.
EVEN as ministers gear up to play musical chairs for the next cabinet reshuffle, there is a strong buzz around Raisina Hill that prime minister Manmohan Singh may be loading his " close- and- trusted" finance minister P.
And he was also forced to play musical chairs in a bid to avoid the Rangers fans who swamped home sections of Kilmarnock's ground.
They are not asking for higher wages or new contracts or better conditions, but they want to deliver a message to Lebanon's ceaselessly bickering political class that the nation's economy is falling apart while politicians play musical chairs over Cabinet shares.
Always have, since I was a child and we had to play musical chairs (now mercifully banned by Elfin Safety) and spar with someone's faintly sinister uncle, who would desperately try to inveigle us into saying a forbidden word like "sausages".
New York City's commercial leasing and sales brokers continue to play musical chairs.
WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS: Owen Coyle is among the latest group of bosses to play musical chairs on the managerial front
When you've gone 19 years and been forced to watch Leeds, Blackburn, Chelsea and tomorrow's opponents Arsenal play musical chairs with your throne it can't be anything else.
30pm, but arrive earlier if you want to play musical chairs with the pensioners.
We play musical chairs when we're rehearsing, and the best part for the song gets into the song.