These dancers definitely aren't providing the "same old song and also dance." They space performing a classic dance of Gujarat state, front of Hindu festival Navratri in Ahmadabad, India, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

You are watching: Same old story same old song and dance


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Now, the VOA learning English program Words and also Their Stories.

Today, we talk about two tasks that many world find really fun and also one that makes them happy -- singing and also dancing!

So, why is the expression “same old song and dance” not at all pertained to fun or happiness? that is the inquiry we will certainly answer today.

The “same old song and also dance” might sound favor a great performance, something that you want to watch over and over again. However it is not. Here, the “song and also dance” is a repeated, tired, also predictable reaction come something. The is something we carry out or say over and over again for different reasons.

One online recommendation guide cases that Americans an initial began making use of this expression in the so late 1800s.

Around the time, vaudeville was a popular kind of show organization in the united States. In a vaudeville show, performers sang, danced and acted in short, funny skits. Part shows even had animal acts.

Often, a vaudeville present would open with a song and also some dancing. However it regularly was the exact same song and dance night after night.

And that is whereby we get the expression “same old song and dance.” Americans usage this term in different situations and in every one, over there is a slight readjust in meaning.

Here are some ways we usage this expression.

Sometimes “the exact same old song and also dance” have the right to be one overused, weak excuse. The is something us say to others to explain poor behavior. But people have heard the so often that they carry out not believe it, nor carry out they care.

Listen for this expression in the following example involving two human being in a work-place environment.


Janet: Hey, Matt. Where space you walk in such a hurry?
Matt: Hi, Janet. I have to drop off creates to a client prior to the nearby of service today.
Janet: Why space you acquisition them yourself? I believed you inquiry James come take treatment of things favor that.
Matt: ns did. But he had actually to take his dog come the animal hospital.
Janet: didn’t he give you the exact same song and dance last week?

Now, occasionally the “same old song and dance” is used to median someone is trying to trick you. Or, in ~ least, lock are just telling you part of the totality story.

For example, in ~ every meeting, a organization owner provides her employees the same old song and dance around the company"s great plans for the future. However then … nothing happens.

Sometimes the very same old song and dance walk not median an pardon or a trick. Occasionally it is simply a really long and complex story. Offered this way, the speaker frequently wants come justify something. They want to to convince the listener the their idea is a great one. Yet in this case, the listener does no really want or have to hear it.

Listen currently to exactly how the ax “song and also dance” is used to average a an extremely long, complicated explanation.


A: how was the theatre last night?
B: It was wonderful, and also the power was great. But it just took way too lengthy for the display to start.
A: Why is that?
B: Well, prior to the show, the theater owner made a really long speech around the prestige of theater. He’s raising money for a theater regimen for at-risk youth.
A: Well, that"s no a negative thing, right?
B: not at all. It’s a an excellent program! but we didn’t should hear his whole song and also dance. Many of united state had already given money! In fact, he finished his hour-long song and dance by thanking everyone for ours generous donations.
A: an hour? that’s a really lengthy song and also dance.

At other times, “the same old song and dance” deserve to mean a facility system i m sorry involves countless steps, like a ritual or ceremony.

For example, let"s say your friend functions for a destructive boss. Every time her friend wants to begin a new project, that is forced to explain the same actions over and also over again.

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Let’s hear exactly how to use this expression.


A: desire to go the end for a bite to eat?
B: Sorry. I don’t have actually time today. I need to prepare my project proposal.
A: What does the involve?