go for a song(redirected from gone for a song)
go for a song
To be sold for a very (and perhaps surprisingly) low price. Wow, I can't believe they let so many things at their yard sale go for a song. I would have marked up the prices a bit.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
for a song, to go/to buy/to sell
Something sold or bought for a trifling sum, by implication for far less than its worth. The expression is believed to come from the pennies given to itinerant songsters performing outside inns and public houses (bars), as well as the very small amount required to buy sheet music. The expression dates from the sixteenth century. Shakespeare used it in All’s Well That Ends Well (“I know a man . . . sold a goodly manor for a song” [3.2]). It was a cliché by the time Byron wrote, “The cost would be a trifle—an ‘old song’” (Don Juan, 1824).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer