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The Nina Simone Database
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
1965 Bob Dylan
The song's lyrics describe a nightmare vision of the narrator's experience in Juarez, Mexico, in which he encounters sickness, despair, prostitutes, saints, shady women, corrupt authorities, alcohol and drugs, before finally deciding to return to New York City. The lyrics incorporate literary references to Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels, while the song's title references Arthur Rimbaud's "My Bohemian Life (Fantasy)"

Nina Simone's version differs considerably in tone from Dylan's: while Dylan's version is sympathetic, if sneering, towards the foolish subject, Simone's version is an intense, first-person account of illusions being crushed, until she is finally helpless in the hands of fate.
- Wikipedia

Recording sessions
1969 January 8-27: New York RCA Manhattan B
When you're lost in Juarez
And it's Easter time too
And your gravity fails