Just Like Tom Thumb Blues – Nina Simone

She’s never been on SFTD once before? That’s not right. Nina is Mrs ForTheDeaf’s favourite singer. Thus, I hear her a lot, and as convention would have it, she is by proxy one of my favourite singers too. There’s always some Nina on somewhere in the memory banks. Holidays, Christmas, Parties. Always a smidge of Nina in there somewhere. So this Bob-A-Thon seems as good a time as any to showcase another cover by a Woman-O-Woman with a masterful voice who has taken his whine, his grumble and his words and turned it into an object of rare beauty.

Nina Simone signing Bob Dylan is like waking to find Nigella Lawson making your morning coffee and packing up your lunchbox (a metaphor not a euphemism) or Bullitt giving you a lift to work. It’s Michelangelo decorating your dining room and Rockefeller signing off your overdraft.

This gentle, mystical, poetic and elegant retreading of a simple folk song with complicated lyrics retains Bob’s fingerprints. Even Dylan knows when he’s bested.


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