call the tune


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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

call the

shots/tune Informal
To exercise authority; be in charge.
See also: call
References in periodicals archive ?
And recalled centre Craig Dutton added a fourth as Hinckley continued to call the tune before his brother Adam signed off with a brace - Brittain adding a conversion before Aspatria grabbed a consolation goal towards the end of the game.
SCOTLAND will be able to "call the tune" at Westminster after the general election, according to Alex Salmond.
The Deesiders continued to call the tune and wrapped up their days in the top tier with a third from Mike Hayes on 76 minutes.
PIPER FAIL TO CALL THE TUNE: Cullercoats Piper (stripes) lost 4-1 to Burradon and New Fordley in the Synergy Blyth and Wansbeck Sunday League's Premier Division PICTURE: STEVE MILLER
Since we pay the piper, though, we ought to call the tune - however humble our status.
But the big guns are ready to run and SINGING POET is expected to call the tune when he makes his debut.
RULE BRITANNIA (2.40), from the in-form James Fanshawe stable, can call the tune at Beverley today.
Mellow Jazz can call the tune in the Ladbroke Stakes Handicap (2.50).
It should be remembered that he who pays the piper should sometimes be able to call the tune. Ted McKay, Wrexham.
Gateshead boss Derek Bell will order his squad to get in the mood tomorrow as part of his plans to call the tune on Monday night.
Blue Symphony cost 80,000 Euros at the Irish sales and is expected to call the tune when she makes her racecourse bow.