The title of this painting refers to the theme of a girl being wooed by a young man. He leans in to talk to her while she is engaged in her sewing. Neuhuijs started his career painting mostly historical subjects and portraits, but the work of Jozef Israëls inspired him to specialise in genre scenes. Although his works are similar in style to those of Israëls, Neuhuijs chose more cheerful themes and brighter colours. 'The Old, Old Story' may have been painted on the spot near Neuhuijs’s house in Laren or in the Kempen, a woodland area near the Dutch-Belgian border where he looked for motifs amongst the farmers and weavers who lived there.