song and dance

Idioms & Phrases

song and dance

An elaborate story or effort to explain and justify something, or to deceive and mislead someone. For example, Do you really believe his song and dance about the alarm not going off, being stopped for speeding, and then the car breaking down? or At every annual meeting the chairman goes through the same song and dance about the company's great future plans. This term originally referred to a vaudeville act featuring song and dance. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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