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I Can't Do The Sum

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"I Can't Do The Sum" is a song in Babes in Toyland.


Mary: Bills, bills bills.
The price of milk, and eggs, and bread is rising every day.

Now with our bankbook in the red, these bills are hard to pay.

If we stop buying chocolate cake, and lived on green string beans,

exactly how much would it take to live within our means?

Oh-oh-oh. Oh-oh-oh. Oh-oh-oh.

Imaginary Mary 1: Put down “beans”, and cross out “cake”.
Imaginary Mary 2: Let me see, oh dear, me!
Imaginary Mary 3: What a job to undertake.
Imaginary Mary 4: Milk plus bread, oh my head!
All Marys: Add, subtract, and multiply, ‘till you're overcome.

Mary: This is much too hard for us, we can’t do the sum.

The stove, and rugs, and furniture will soon be repossessed.

This makes me feel quite insecure, and mentally depressed.

Would we be better off somehow by living in a tent?

How can I pay the mortgage now, and save the 6 percent?

All Marys: Oh-oh-oh. Oh-oh-oh. Oh-oh-oh.

Picture us inside a tent -, beastly poor, insecure.

We must save the 6 percent - 6 “times” X, how complex!

Numbers always stick our brains, why are we so dumb?

This is much too hard for us, we can’t do the sum.

Mary: I’m not a great financial whiz of that, of that there is no doubt.

The outcome of our income is our incomes’ all gone out.

If we walk on our hands with care, instead on our feet,

with what we save on shoe repair, suffice to make ends meet?

All Marys: Oh-oh-oh. Oh-oh-oh. Oh-oh-oh.

Walking on our hands with care, off our feet - make ends meet.

Saving on our shoe repair, leaving holes in our soles.

What should we be adding to, or subtracting from?

Mary: This is much too hard for me, I can’t do the sum.

Looks like there’s no hope for me, I can’t get out of debt.

If I marry Barnaby, that's the end, why pretend?

Am I doing right or wrong? My heart feels so numb.

No use trying any more, I can’t do the sum.

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