This was one of two original songs on Bob Dylan's eponymous first album. It describes his feelings on arriving in New York, and the initial difficulty he had finding gigs.
The line, "Now, a very great man once said, that some people rob you with a fountain pen," is a nod to Dylan's hero, Woody Guthrie. It is a specific reference to "Pretty Boy Floyd," Guthrie's 1939 ballad about the 1930s gangster.
Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" opens with the South African female singer Letta Mbulu saying the Swahili phrase "Naku penda piya-naku taka piya-mpenziwe." There was some geographic liberty here, as Swahili is not spoken in the West African nation of Liberia.