Definition of a song and dance in US English:

a song and dance

phrase

North American
  • 1A long explanation that is pointless or deliberately evasive.

    ‘Don't give me a song and dance, Sandy. Yes or no?’
    • ‘We all deserve answers, not a song and dance about how hard the police work and how they don't get no respect.’
    • ‘With nothing to go on but a song and dance from Kelley, most are loathe to give it more than a 7 or 8 share.’
    • ‘It was a song and dance that he had heard many times before.’
    • ‘It was a song and dance the two frequently engaged in.’
    • ‘Regan didn't make a song and dance about getting drunk all the time.’
    • ‘I did what I could, but his attorney did a song and dance you wouldn't believe.’
    1. 1.1British A fuss or commotion.
      ‘she would be sure to make a song and dance about her aching feet’
      • ‘Annabelle isn't one to make a song and dance about what she's doing, and she would go off doing all sorts of treks and endurance trails.’
      • ‘But if others are going to make a song and dance about the levels of Scottish support, he is duty bound to respond.’
      • ‘So if there's a chance for a regional city to make a song and dance about their local talent, then let them milk it for all it's worth.’
      • ‘The latest group of entertainers to make a song and dance about their plight are actors, or ‘theatre practitioners’ as they must now be called.’
      • ‘People who have lived in the Dales for a long time know it's a lovely place and tend not to make a song and dance about it.’
      • ‘Even some investigating agencies make a song and dance about their findings and jail persons only to be acquitted later.’
      • ‘Which is another reason why Orman was determined not to make a song and dance about his seizure.’
      • ‘When a British suburbanite sets off with a shotgun to see his ex-wife he doesn't make a song and dance about it.’
      • ‘They don't make a song and dance about it; they just do it.’
      • ‘The fact that he has to make a song and dance about it shows how far policing has moved away from what it should be doing.’
      fuss, fuss and bother, bother, commotion, trouble, rigmarole, folderol, ado, pother
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