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Song Of The Week - Norwegian Wood

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Kangaroo Kev:
I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me...
She showed me her room, isn't it good, norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, "It's time for bed"

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn't it good, norwegian wood.


Lennon indicated that Paul McCartney helped him finish off the lyric. McCartney explained the title and lyric as follows:
“Peter Asher [brother of McCartney's then-girlfriend Jane Asher] had his room done out in wood, a lot of people were decorating their places in wood. Norwegian wood. It was pine, really, cheap pine. But it's not as good a title, "Cheap Pine", baby. So it was a little parody really on those kind of girls who when you'd go to their flat there would be a lot of Norwegian wood. It was completely imaginary from my point of view but in John's it was based on an affair he had. This wasn't the decor of someone's house, we made that up. So she makes him sleep in the bath and then finally in the last verse I had this idea to set the Norwegian wood on fire as revenge, so we did it very tongue in cheek. She led him on, then said, "You'd better sleep in the bath." In our world the guy had to have some sort of revenge ... so it meant I burned the place down ....

Harrison—who would later be strongly influenced by Indian culture and become a practitioner of transcendental meditation—decided on using a sitar when The Beatles recorded the song on 12 and 21 October 1965. He later said:

“During the filming of Help! there were some Indian musicians in a restaurant scene and I kind of messed around with a sitar then. But during that year, towards the end of the year anyway, I kept hearing the name of Ravi Shankar.
So I went out and bought a record and that was it. It felt very familiar to me to listen to that music. It was around that time I bought a sitar. I just bought a cheap sitar in a shop called India Craft, in London. It was lying around. I hadn't really figured out what to do with it. When we were working on Norwegian Wood it just needed something, and it was quite spontaneous, from what I remember. I just picked up my sitar, found the notes and just played it. We miked it up and put it on and it just seemed to hit the spot.   ”

Personnel

John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney – bass, harmony vocal
George Harrison – double-tracked sitar
Ringo Starr – tambourine, maracas, finger cymbals
Personnel per Ian MacDonald

Apparently it is the first example of a rock band playing the sitar in one of their songs

blmeanie:
Longtime challenger on my favorite list.  When the kids were young even used it as a lullaby at bedtime.

Terrific song, love the insight on the lyrics

stevie:
One of the best, and 'easiest' of John's vocals to sing along with. And great harmonies by Paul.

I love the fact that such a melodic song is sometimes construed as nasty! Some people interpret the 'So, I lit a fire, isn't it good' as meaning he burned the place down!  Hmmm....

Dcazz:
One of my favorites as well! When I was a kid I didn't even know what Norweigen Wood was as I don't think that decor was as popular over here. I always thought that when he lit the fire he was just sitting around watching the fireplace for bit. I remember when I read the McCartney statement about burning the place down and thought how strange it really was!
I totally agree with Stevie about harmonies and melodies. An early masterpiece!

Kangaroo Kev:

--- Quote from: Dcazz on May 03, 2013, 01:19:20 PM ---One of my favorites as well! When I was a kid I didn't even know what Norweigen Wood was as I don't think that decor was as popular over here. I always thought that when he lit the fire he was just sitting around watching the fireplace for bit. I remember when I read the McCartney statement about burning the place down and thought how strange it really was!
I totally agree with Stevie about harmonies and melodies. An early masterpiece!

--- End quote ---

Yes think we all thought that Dave, just lit a fire because he was cold maybe, but this seems to be an early example of them becoming more artistic and using imagery and metaphors, Norwegian Wood is a fantastic way to describe Pinewood.
The Beatles stopped being mop tops and became serious artists with songs like this.
Its a beautiful ballad, evocative and thoughtful
'I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me' points in some way towards Johns feelings for womens liberation I always felt.

Revolver would take us more down that road I think.

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