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Author Topic: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood  (Read 865 times)

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Moogmodule

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Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« on: December 18, 2013, 02:51:14 AM »

I have to say it's been a pleasure joining this forum. Very nice welcomes from people and always great to learn things from so many knowledgeable fans. I thought I'd venture a first topic kick off.

When I was quite young listening to Norwegian Wood I always heard the "this bird had flown" line as having a poetic nuance. I thought John was using a gracious metaphor for a free and wild creature who couldn't be tied down by someone. Certainly not anyone crass enough to sleep in her bath.

Of course as I got older I had the epiphany one day that john was not being graciously poetic.  "Bird" actually was the rather brusque slang for a girl. That completely changed my view of the song. "Wow" I thought. "That's even cooler."

I'd wager John wasn't using this latter meaning on Free as a Bird though.

Interesting to hear from others about examples of what they thought a song's lyrics meant when they were younger to when they became older and wiser.
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Dcazz

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 03:51:00 AM »

I had a similar revelation on NW when I realized what a bird was! It made a little more sense. Then last year I found out he torched her place thanks to this forum. Lol! Some song!
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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 04:51:16 AM »

I was 15 when Rubber Soul was released and knew John was telling a story about an affair.

I'm not sure how y'all hear the lyrics, but John sings...

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit the fire
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?



The Beatles- 02- Norwegian Wood (2009 Mono Remaster)



I always felt he started a fire in the fireplace after she left and was thinking about how nice the wood paneling looked.
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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 05:07:08 AM »

But John does sing "So I lit a fire" in the Take 1 version on Anthology II...


Norwegian Wood - The Beatles (Take1) Anthology ll Version



However, it never changed the meaning for me.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 05:25:09 AM »


[/quote]
I had a similar revelation on NW when I realized what a bird was! It made a little more sense. Then last year I found out he torched her place thanks to this forum. Lol! Some song!

Yes. I think it's safe to say as a young lad I simply didn't know what the song was about. I recall I thought he'd used a chair to make a fire in the fireplace. I like this other interpretation better though. Now that's rock and roll.

[/quote]
But John does sing "So I lit a fire" in the Take 1 version on Anthology II...


However, it never changed the meaning for me.

Ah you're right about the Rubber a Soul version. Wonder if the difference between that and Take 1 is John meant the torching at first then moderated it for final consumption. Oh well. So much for a bit of punk-style house burning.

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2013, 05:41:42 AM »

I have to say it's been a pleasure joining this forum. Very nice welcomes from people and always great to learn things from so many knowledgeable fans..


Nice to have you here, mate!  Stick around and enjoy the show.

You can start with this epic thread:  A Day In The Life - The Truth At Last!


 ;D

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2013, 06:04:46 AM »

John sings "So I lit the fire" in Take 2...


The Beatles Norwegian Wood (Take 2)



It's a good thing John didn't sing "So I lit my fire."  Ed Sullivan would never have them back on his show again.    ;D
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stevie

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2013, 06:52:47 AM »

There's a fascinating revelation in tune In which I'd never heard of and I think Mark Lewisohn was the one who 'discovered' it:

In 1962, one of the Cavern regs holidayed in Norway and brought John back a little wooden doll or toy. George asked him about it and John said it was Norwegian Wood. The fan recalled this 3 years later when the song came out
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In My Life

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2013, 05:00:47 PM »

It's a good thing John didn't sing "So I lit my fire."  Ed Sullivan would never have them back on his show again.    ;D

You know that it would not be untrue.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 12:59:36 AM »

I always relate this song to any girl who seems to leave opened the door, but then you see it was no more than an illusion. The lines "I once had a girl, or should I say she once had me" and "She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere; so I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair" are pure genius, and the major base of my interpretation.
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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2013, 07:08:14 PM »

I don't know how I forgot this changed interpretation...it's a very recent one. I've always thought that "For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool" in "Hey Jude" sounded awkward. I was interpreting it like "Well, you know...", not like Paul stating a well-known fact. Does that make sense? Then one day a light bulb finally turned on over my head!
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Kelley

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Dcazz

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2013, 08:56:01 PM »

I don't know how I forgot this changed interpretation...it's a very recent one. I've always thought that "For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool" in "Hey Jude" sounded awkward. I was interpreting it like "Well, you know...", not like Paul stating a well-known fact. Does that make sense? Then one day a light bulb finally turned on over my head!
Banana-na-na-nanananah! Tell me what that means?!
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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2013, 02:46:01 AM »

Banana-na-na-nanananah! Tell me what that means?!

ha2ha Is that what you thought it was?
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Normandie

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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2013, 03:33:58 PM »

When I was quite young listening to Norwegian Wood I always heard the "this bird had flown" line as having a poetic nuance. I thought John was using a gracious metaphor for a free and wild creature who couldn't be tied down by someone. Certainly not anyone crass enough to sleep in her bath.

Of course as I got older I had the epiphany one day that john was not being graciously poetic.  "Bird" actually was the rather brusque slang for a girl. That completely changed my view of the song. "Wow" I thought. "That's even cooler."


I'm coming in on this thread late, but wanted to say that I had the same interpretation of the song, Moogmodule; it wasn't until I was a teenager and learned that bird was a slang British term that I realized I'd gotten most of my interpretation of the song wrong.
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Re: Changed interpretation - Norwegian Wood
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 05:15:00 AM »

I was 15 when Rubber Soul was released and knew John was telling a story about an affair.

I'm not sure how y'all hear the lyrics, but John sings...

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit the fire
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

I always felt he started a fire in the fireplace after she left and was thinking about how nice the wood paneling looked.
Oh dude! I literally just now realised what the song is about! All this time I really thought it was just a random themed song John came up with! Too funny!
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