The Many Theories That Attempt to Explain Why a Final Performance Is Called a Swan Song

Simon Whistler, host of the informative video series “Today I Found Out” talks about the multiple theories that seek to explain why a final performance is called a swan song.

When someone performs for the last time, we often refer to it as a “swan song” which seems odd given that swans aren’t particularly known for their stage presence… So where exactly did this phrase come from? This expression is generally thought to have its genesis in the over two thousand year old idea that swans sing a beautiful song just before death.