this is the story of the kids called the crabs
they used to loiter on the corner up on jefferson ave
they're always chanting on their mantra, you only get what you grab
and there's money in the city, but the money's in handbags
but that's not new, yeah that's review
i already told you about the bags that get grabbed by the crab dudes
they got supply if you got demand
they'd get a grand to the gram if they could decimate these other gangs

and math is money and money is math, a leather vest, assless chaps
peter panned out here from springfield, mass
(math is money and money is math)

newspaper said that some crabs stabbed some rich kid
but what's a rich kid doin that far up on jefferson
slumming,stumbling, gettin lost in his eyelids
tried to do a little more but he dropped it in the toilet
short by an ounce that's when they pounced dude
didn't even mention the amount the crabs came crashin though
this ain't smart dude, this ain't art dude
this is sonic economics and i'll put it on a graph for you to prove

that math is money and money is math, a leather vest and assless chaps
peter panned back into springfield, mass
(math is money and money is math)

twin cities, they're gangin up on me
twin cities, they're double teamin me

well hello, new bedford, mass won't you hit me with a little bit of amnesty

(twin cities) twin cities, they're gangin up on me
(twin cities) twin cities, they're double teamin me

Lyrics submitted by PLANES

Math Is Money song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentthe crabs are a gang in Minneapolis. The song is about them
    mechpope13on January 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually "Crabs" is a derogatory name for Crips used by members of other gangs, most notably the Bloods.
    music1994on February 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationA lot of geographical hyper-spacing going on in Craig Finn's lyrics, as well as shifting between mythic & real trying to apply a literalist interpretation with LFTR PLLR folklore overall is a fruitless exercise...and probably missing the point of it all anyway.

    Anyway, the references in Math Is Money seem to shift between Finn's twin hometowns of the Boston Metro area and Minneapolis...there's the Crabs (or Crab Dudes) with their booming narcotics enterprise on Jefferson Ave in NE MPLS (music1994's interpretation coincides best with what I know about the MPLS gangs situation)...

    Shifting then to seeking amnesty in New Bedford, Mass and "...peter panned back into Springfield, Mass..." (there's actually a Peter Pan Bus Lines servicing most of northern New England, HQ'd in Springfield)

    That's as literal as I'll get...Finn's facile wordplay (with nods to Springsteen & Dylan & Keroac) just hits me right between the eyes...vivid, pointed & brutally stark, leaves me seeing stars sometimes ...and he's still got it...eagerly awaiting the fifth Hold Steady record, which is in the recording process now.
    musicdirectoron January 27, 2010   Link

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