sing for one's supper

sing for (one's) supper

To obtain something by working for it or by providing another service in return. You're welcome to stay with us on the farm as long as you like, but you'll have to sing for your supper while you're here.
See also: sing, supper

sing for one's supper

Work for one's pay or reward, as in Entertaining visiting scientists is part of the job; you know I have to sing for my supper . This metaphoric term alludes to wandering minstrels who performed in taverns and were paid with a meal. First recorded in 1609, it gained currency with the familiar nursery rhyme, "Little Tommy Tucker, sings for his supper" (c. 1744).
See also: sing, supper