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same old story, the

Also, the same old rigmarole. A frequently recurring event or situation, as in It's the same old story—they won't hire you without experience but how can you get experience if you're not hired? Both these expressions originally alluded to a tiresome, rambling discourse but today are used mainly for an irksome recurrence. The first gained currency during World War II with a song, “As Time Goes By,” popularized in the film Casablanca (1942).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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