give (one) a song and dance (about something)(redirected from gives them a song and dance)
give (one) a song and dance (about something)
1. To give one an unnecessarily elaborate explanation or presentation. Look, don't give me a song and dance about what happened—just get to the point. I wish the boss wouldn't give us a song and dance at the start of every meeting.
2. To attempt to deceive or mislead one through an elaborate story or effort. When I asked him where the money had gone, he started giving me a song and dance about moving it between accounts for some bizarre reason. If a suspect gives you a whole song and dance when you ask them a straightforward question, then you can be sure they are trying to hide something.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
song and dance, (to give someone) a
(To make) an unnecessary fuss; also, a misleading story or statement, nonsense. In the first sense this term dates from mid-nineteenth-century England, where it is usually put as nothing to make a song (and dance) about, meaning this is an unimportant matter. The second sense originated in America in the second half of the nineteenth century. Brander Matthews used it in A Confident Tomorrow (1900): “It ain’t a song and dance I’m giving you either.” The same old song and dance, on the other hand, refers to an overfamiliar, hackneyed routine, whether or not that happens to be an old familiar lie or excuse. See also same old rigmarole.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer