they that dance must pay the fiddler

Cf. he who pays the piper calls the tune, where the emphasis is reversed. To pay the piper (fiddler, etc.) means ‘to bear the cost (of an enterprise)’. The proverb is now predominantly found in US use.

1638 J. TAYLOR Taylor’s Feast in Works (1876) 94 One of the Fidlers said, Gentlemen, I pray you to remember the Musicke [musicians], you have given us nothing yet... Alwayes those that dance must pay the Musicke.

1837 A. LINCOLN Speech 11 Jan. in Works (1953) I. 64 I am decidedly opposed to the people’s money being used to pay the fiddler. It is an old maxim and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler.

a 1957 L. I. WILDER First Four Years (1971) i. Laura was going to have a baby... She remembered a saying of her mother’s: ‘They that dance must pay the fiddler.’


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pay — noun see pay beforehand was never well served no cure, no pay verb see he that cannot pay, let him pray if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys crime doesn’t pay they that dance must pay the fiddler …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • dance — see they that dance must pay the fiddler he that lives in hope dances to an ill tune if you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • fiddler — see they that dance must pay the fiddler …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • The Sound of Music (film) — The Sound of Music Original poster by Howard Terpning Directed by Robert Wise Produced b …   Wikipedia

  • he who pays the piper calls the tune — Reversing the emphasis of they that dance must pay the fiddler. 1895 Daily News 18 Dec. 9 Londoners had paid the piper, and should choose the tune. 1910 Spectator 22 Oct. 643 Until British electors know that the dollars have been returned they… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • List of The Nanny episodes — This is a list of the episodes of the CBS television sitcom The Nanny. There are a total of 146 episodes in this series. Contents 1 Ratings 2 Episodes 2.1 Season 1: 1993–1994 …   Wikipedia

  • List of The Golden Girls episodes — 72 Hours redirects here. For the Canadian TV programme, see 72 Hours: True Crime. Golden Moments redirects here. For the novel by Danielle Steele, see Golden Moments (novel). Mixed Blessing redirects here. For uses of Mixed Blessings , see Mixed… …   Wikipedia

  • Playing the violin — This article is about violin techniques used in Western classical music. For more general information, see Violin. This article is part of the Fiddle Violin series. Basic physics of the violin Fiddlers History of the violin …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • payment — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Act of paying Nouns 1. payment, defrayment; discharge, remission; acquittance, quittance; settlement, clearance, liquidation, satisfaction, reckoning, arrangement, restitution, repayment, reimbursement;… …   English dictionary for students

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.