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face the music

to accept punishment or blame


face the music = die Suppe auslöffeln, für etwas geradestehen --- GOOGLE INDEX face the music: approximately 4,000,000 Google hits



Lance Armstrong is finally about to FACE THE MUSIC in drug court.

(Sports Illustrated magazine)

But to ensure that such behavior doesn’t continue, that the financial sector gets the message, the banks’ senior management must also finally FACE THE MUSIC.

(The Washington Post)

Did you

face the music

- to accept criticism or punishment for something you have done

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

For fans of 1930s Hollywood films, this expression may bring memories of the Irving Berlin title "Let's face the music and dance," which inspired one of the famous Fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers dance routines in the movie Follow The Fleet. The phrase seems to be much older than that however. There are two theories regarding the origin.

One suggestion is that it originated in musical theatre where a nervous actor was required to sum up enough courage to face the audience across the orchestra pit, thus facing the music.

The other theory stems from the early military practice of drumming out a soldier dismissed from service for dishonourable conduct.

Here are a few other things we sometimes have to face besides music:

- face the facts/face it = accept the truth (Let's the face the facts, we're going to miss our flight/Let's face it, we're going to be late for the game)

- face up to someone/something = get the courage to deal with someone/something (If it was your fault, then face up to it and tell the boss)

- face off = to prepare for a confrontation (The mayor and his opponent faced off right before the debate)

- face head-on = to confront a problem directly and openly (He has a reputation for facing issues head-on)

- face to face = to meet and talk in person (We should have a face-to-face meeting to discuss the contract details)

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation:

"It was a big mistake. We'll just have to go to the boss and face the music."

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