call the tune

(redirected from Who pays the piper calls the tune)

call the tune

To dictate how a situation or agenda proceeds, as from a position of authority. The phrase is a shortened version of "Who pays the piper calls the tune," which means that the person who pays for something assumes control over it. My staff has to do what I say because I'm the boss, and I call the tune here! Mom calls the tune for Thanksgiving dinner, so you better get her approval for any dish you want to bring.
See also: call, tune

call the tune

Make important decisions, exercise authority, as in Nancy said that it's her turn to call the tune. The full term is Who pays the piper calls the tune, meaning whoever bears the cost of an enterprise should have authority over it. [Late 1800s] Also see the synonym call the shots.
See also: call, tune

call the tune

COMMON If someone calls the tune, they are in control of a situation and make all the important decisions. If managers tried to get players to come back in the afternoon they'd have a riot on their hands. The players call the tune these days. Whether you're talking plant-breeding or choice of seed, supermarkets call the tune. Note: This expression comes from the proverb `he who pays the piper calls the tune'.
See also: call, tune

call the ˈshots/the ˈtune

(informal) be in control: Ask Jenny — she’s the one who calls the shots around here.
See also: call, shot, tune
References in periodicals archive ?
Raising concerns about long-term independence, he said: "[What] concerns us is that as the saying goes, he who pays the piper calls the tune.
A neutral Commission is handed the poisoned chalice by Conservatives who believe who pays the piper calls the tune, fixing the rules by dictating boundaries are based not on population but electoral registration.
Friday night rugby might have the traditionalists up in arms but the reality as always is he who pays the piper calls the tune.
If it's true that he who pays the piper calls the tune, then it's fair to ask who is choosing the music to which the Tories dance.
HE WHO pays the piper calls the tune and if Alan Potts wants to run Sizing Europe in the top three-mile chases this season he is more entitled than anybody else to make that call.
Canadian scientists are learning the truth of the old maxim, "He who pays the piper calls the tune.
A case of she who pays the piper calls the tune, I think.
He who pays the piper calls the tune, and it looks as if Chancellor Angela Merkel's German government is paying the GM piper quite generously.
In our consumer-oriented economic system it is an honored maxim that he who pays the piper calls the tune.
You know the old saying he who pays the piper calls the tune.
But there's an old saying: "He who pays the piper calls the tune.
He who pays the piper calls the tune and federal funding would almost certainly mean better supervision in an area that is certain to attract the unscrupulous, reckless, and even fanatical just as much as it does adventurous mavericks like West.
Charles Plumridge, a senior Gulf Veterans and Families Association co-ordinator, said: 'He who pays the piper calls the tune.