I was trying to translate a song called "город устал" by "плохо", and one of the lines of the song says:
По рассказам всё было, но ты опоздал
I tried to get a word by word translation since there were a couple new ones, and "рассказам" is the dative of рассказ, which means story. The preposition "по" means "along" or "on the subject of". Context reverse translates "По рассказам" as "By all accounts", "According to the stories" and the music translation itself writes it as "Stories tell".
"Всё было" means "everything + was" and "но ты опоздал" means "But you were late". So the translation of that phrase to "Stories tell how it all used to be, but you are late" makes sense.
Thing is, even knowing the meaning of "рассказ" and "по", translating "по рассказам" to "Stories tell" didn't really come to mind. It kind of makes sense after knowing it, but I couldn't get to it by just knowing the words. So I got curious whether this is an idiomatic expression, or if I just didn't think the way a russian would think reading it.