for a song

for a song

Meaning | Synonyms

  • incredibly inexpensive
  • to get something for a surprisingly low price
  • to buy something for less than it is worth
  • easy on the pocket
  • reasonably priced
  • low-priced
  • going for a song

Example Sentences

  1. She bought those lovely shoes at a flea market for a song.
  2. We bought our house for a song.
  3. Portable speakers of Bose are going for a song on last day of the sale.
  4. The clothes of my favorite brand are going for a song in the neighborhood shop.
  5. Who rumored that the tickets of Justin Bieber’s concert in New Zealand will go for a song.
  6. I have never seen such a sale before – here things are going for a song.
  7. These watches are very expensive in Canada but you can buy them for a song in Switzerland.
  8. Amazon is a great place to shop online – sometime they sell goods for a song.
  9. I didn’t possess this house for a song, I worked day and night to get this.
  10. A friend of mine has always been in search of the deals for a song – now he has made it his profession.

Origin

The idiom is probably related to street singers. They would stand on the side of the street and people would give them pennies. Singing was not seen as a large accomplishment as it could be done by everyone. Therefor, you would not be paid much for it. You would also have to pay for sheet music (1500s.)

One of the earliest examples can be found in Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well”

“I know a man . . . ¬†sold a goodly manor for a song” from 1601.

There are also rumours that the phrase was used by Burleigh in response to Queen Elizabeth I when she proposed paying an exorbitant amount of money to Edward Spencer for a performance of “The Faerie Queen.” He is rumoured to have said “All this for a song.”

This cannot be substantiated and as the poem is so long that it fills six books it is likely untrue. It would also mean that the original meaning of the idiom might have been the opposite of what it is today.

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