"Math Suks"
Song by Jimmy Buffett
from the album Beach House on the Moon
ReleasedMay 24, 1999
Songwriter(s)Jimmy Buffett, Roger Guth, Peter Mayer
Producer(s)Russell Kunkel, Michael Utley, Mac McAnally, Tony Brown

"Math Suks" is a song by Jimmy Buffett, from the album Beach House on the Moon (1999).

The lyrics tell of the author's frustration as a math student. According to the lyrics, the inspiration for the song and title came from a candid interview on TV:

I got so bored with my homework
I turned on the TV
The beauty contest winners were all smiling through their teeth
They asked the new Miss America "Hey babe, can you add up all those bucks?"
She looked puzzled then just said, "Math Suks!"

However, in later interviews Jimmy said that the inspiration actually came from graffiti on a bridge in Key West Florida.[1]

Consistent with its stated theme, the song lyrics are largely an emotional catharsis; mathematical terms are used only in a very superficial way. Presumably for that reason, the song seems to have little appeal to mathematicians, and even less to mathematics teachers [1] (unlike other songs that make fun at mathematics, such as Tom Lehrer's "Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky" and "New Math"). The song was in fact promptly condemned by the US National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Education Association for its alleged negative effect on children's education.[1] Jon Stewart also criticized the song on The Daily Show during a segment called "Math Is Quite Pleasant".[2]


  1. ^ a b c Dana Mackenzie (June 3, 1999). "Irreverent Song Upsets Math Teachers". American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved November 9, 2008. (updated link: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/284/5421/1763.2.full)
  2. ^ "Math is Quite Pleasant - the Daily Show with Jon Stewart | Comedy Central US". 25 May 1999.