This would be a great world to dance in if we didn’t have to pay the fiddler. – June 27, 1930 Will Rogers
I haven’t heard the phrase “Its time to pay the fiddler” in years. When I looked it up on Wikipedia it was shown to be a country music song sung by Ernest Tubb among others. It goes something like this:
Well it’s time to pay the fiddler
And it’s sad to know we’ve danced it all away
But the warm night’s disappearing
Leaving nothing but the cold hard light of day
Since “paying the fiddler” is in this Will Rogers quote it must pre-date this song but I expect that the meaning has pretty well carried over. This relays the same message as “burning your candle at both ends” or to us more nuanced we might say that “you eventually have to pay for the consequences of your actions”. I kind of like the fiddler one the best though. 😉
For philosophical reason, whatever that is, let’s put this saying into perspective. We in the U.S particularly, but in the whole world in general, have been living on borrowed money for too long. So maybe now it is time to pay the fiddler and that is what is happening now. Our economy has contracted due to people unable to sustain past spending practices. Our credit cards are maxed out and since we are paying 18- 24% interest on them, the banks and their owners are getting wealthy, but we who have this massive debt can no longer afford to keep spending. Unfortunately this sequence of events played out at the same time as the financial institutions were getting more creative in where they got their ever increasing profits.
So here we are paying the fiddler. How long will it take to get him paid off? No one seems to know but I would bet it is for at least a few more years if we have the patience to keep up the payments. Unfortunately, we in the U.S. are not known for our patience. What’s going to happen is anyone’s guess but I would guess that nothing good will come from our future actions if we don’t realize that we’ve danced it all away leaving us nothing but a cold hard light of day.
Enough of this silliness but what do I know….