What does Norwegian Wood mean?

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Beatles: Norwegian Wood Meaning

Song Released: 1965

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Norwegian Wood Lyrics

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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Nov 13th 2011 report

    This song is, in fact, about one of John Lennon's many affairs. But he said that he was trying to emphasize the point that he *didn't* sleep with the girl.

    "I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me." This line, I believe, is saying that she cared more about the relationship than he did.
    "She showed me her room, isn't it good, Norwegian wood." This line is saying that he did go home with her.
    "She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere. So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair." This line tells that she wasn't making not sleeping with her easy for him.
    "I sat on the rug, biding my time, drinking her wine." He didn't sleep with her. He was stalling and distracting.
    "We talked until two, and then she said, 'It's time for bed.'" She wasn't planning on letting him put it off any longer.
    "She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh. I told her I didn't and crawled up to sleep in the bath." He, once again, found a way *not* to sleep with her.
    "And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown." She was tired of him putting this part of their relationship off, so she leaves him.
    "So, I lit a fire, isn't it good, Norwegian wood." He is perfectly fine with the fact that they're not together anymore and he wants to put it out of his mind.

    He wrote this song because he wanted to write a song about an affair, but he wanted his wife to know that he hadn't been *completely* unfaithful to her.

    That's my interpretation.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 8th 2006 report

    This song as said by John (and Paul) was about one of John's many affairs. He meets a girl, goes home with her, drinks a bit, sleep together. In the morning she's gone because she got what she wanted from him. He said he always felt like shit because of what he was doing. Norwegian wood has absoltely nothing to do with Norway - it is referring to the cheap wood used to make furiture (that plywood material is according to Paul called Norwedgian Wood to make it sound better). John angry that he is being used decides to burn down the shitty apartment (he never really did burn them down but he wanted too, he's taken a bit of artistic liberty).


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Sep 10th 2014 report

    Wow guys really. It really is not some deep thing that guys put all this hidden meaning in. And this is the truly important part... Norweigan Wood DOES NOT mean smoking weed. Seriously. It is not some european thing or some Bob Dylan tripe. All the song is is a dark joke. She led him on and laughed about it, soooooo he set her flat on fire. Really thats all it is. Read Pauls biography, you great big know it all fans.

  4. Campaigner8
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    Dec 16th 2022 report

    Don’t read too much into these simple lyrics. John was out drinking and met a young woman he liked. When they got back to her place, men don’t perform well when under the influence of alcohol. She tried to make it happen, but John chose the bathtub. That never happens when you’re a sober man. He woke up now sober and likely wished she had not had to go off to work. Norwegian wood could be what the guys called their nether regions. I know our group of guys have given dozens of names for our genitals - a few involve the word “wood.”

  5. Snowball
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    Feb 19th 2022 report

    I believe this is about Stewart Sutcliffe and Astrid Kirrchherr.
    Stewart was the 5th Beatle, who died tragically young.
    She met the Beatles after showing her pictures of her bedroom.
    The Beatles met Astrid in Hamburg, she was a very creative photographer and fashion leading model type who lived at home but did her bedroom up in modern minimalist style.
    Hanging from her ceiling was a branch of wood.
    The Beatles would often go clubbing with Astrid and would crash at her place drinking her wine. So I guess the bath would come in useful as a place to sleep. The first line I once had a girl or should I say she once had me, is because Stewart had died, so Astrid no longer had him.
    Stewart also used to burn furniture when he was cold back i. Liverpool, hence I think the kind of tongue in cheek ending about burning the wood.
    I believe it’s a memorial to Stewart Sutcliffe, but Lennon didn’t reveal that, the story of an extra marital affair doesn’t ring true with me, I don’t think he would write such a beautiful song for that. The secret is between Lennon, Astrid, Sutcliffe and McCartney. sadly only McCartney is still alive to explain the truth.

  6. anonymous
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    Sep 5th 2019 report

    I can't believe some of the comments such as you could not mention alcohol. Funny, my Aunts (great) Maine/Boston all had Dictaphones. I remember (a composer, worked at major labels, Music Sup/Soundtracks) and loved the way the broke when smashed against something hard. My Great aunt in Maine didn't mind as she had a ton of them. Like a 1/4" thick. The point is, they raved about drinking all the time.

    The roaring 20's?
    Plus, it has been said, while the Beatles "bowed" and were all that and a bag of genius and the Rolling Stones tried to be the bad boys, it was actually the other way around. The public saw the "boy" band. They were much go F' ur self but John quickly learned about the media, watched what he said, but could still cause a nightmare as he was a super genius. Meanwhile the Rolling Stones are sipping on Tea. LOL. While I love them both I find it crazy that people don't realize, THE BEATLES were way more ROCKIN in YA FACE than the appearance they projected. Just go back to PRE-BRIAN EPSTEIN, leather jackets, one band member killed (not sure if they were drinking) but they Beatles were some touch mo/fo's. The learned of Pot from Bobby Dylan, then the line was, "let's go have a laugh" if in the studio. Put it this way, BRIAN EPSTEIN alive kept them prim and proper. Before him, they were rockers. After he passed, they took the whole world with them. What made them magic though was not Paul, nor John, Ringo, George, but all 4 of them. It quite evident when you look at all the Lennon songs he had lying around. Then the Beatles (most noticeable on "FREE AS A BIRD" - the Lennon version sounds Major Minor like early POST BEATLES EARLY 70's great LENNON! Paul, sol, a bit POP on most (a bit to much for me) but together, MADE the Beatles, they all though, had excellent solo careers.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 25th 2018 report


    Get real, boys and girls. Right from the first time I heard the song, the word was out that Norwegian wood was a term for pot. I can imagine someone, maybe the Beatles, talking about pot at some point early on, and seeing the word “marijuana” for the first time, never heard of it and trying to pronounce it: “muh-ree-joo-what??” and someone else, stoned, thinking what they heard was “Norwegian wood.” That, as well as the lyrics, sure sounds like stoned talk: I once had a girl - or should I say, she once had me, laugh laugh. She told me to sit anywhere, so I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair. Har har for 3 minutes. 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. Sounds very much like some of the stoned conversations and situations I’ve known over the years, especially when I first started smoking pot, around three years after the song was written. And they top it all off with the subtitle: This Bird Has Flown, because you couldn’t say This Dude Got Stoned. Yes, it’s also about an affair or get-high-and-hook-up or whatever, but like the best of songwriters have always have done, there is more than one layer of meaning here. The Beatles were as good at that as anyone, and you couldn’t talk openly about drugs in a song, so this was a way for those in the know to get something beyond what’s on the surface, and the rest to scratch their heads and wonder what the heck that was all about.

  8. anonymous
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    Mar 31st 2018 report

    I interpret the lyrics to mean a guy gets invited by a girl for the first time to her apartment. They know very little about each other. Sitting on the floor, they chat, drinking wine until past midnight. Knowing it is getting late, she tells him she has to work in the morning. When he tells her he doesn't have a job, her opinion of him changes quickly and the guy is not invited into her bed, but he ends up sleeping in the bathtub. When we wakes up, she's gone to work, and he is frustrated with the way the night went. He lights a fire. Two possibilities here. He lights up a joint to deal with his frustration of his badly ending date, or he actually burns down the apartment.

  9. anonymous
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    Feb 16th 2015 report

    Yes this is about one of John's affairs all this about cheap wood is BS. The title of this song is simply a play on words to get the song published and played on the radio. The song's true lyrics are "knowing she would" Isn't it good knowing she would.

  10. anonymous
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    Feb 12th 2015 report

    John was working on a song, the working title being knowing she would when he played it to the band ringo misheard knowing she would as norwegian wood. John very much liked this and changed the song to norwegian wood.

  11. anonymous
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    Nov 25th 2014 report

    Christ everyone. There are articles and interviews from John and Paul explaining the lyrics. The song's about John's affairs, and basically he goes to have a one night stand with a woman. The woman has a flat, decorated in Norwegian wood. After sex, she tells him to sleep in the bathroom, and out of revenge, he burns the place down. Done.

  12. anonymous
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    Apr 1st 2014 report

    I believe this song is about religion. He talks about being seduced by a woman (Christianity)"She once had me" Norwegian Wood, I believe was a symbolism of the false goodness Lennon believed religion presented.

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

    could symbolize a person following religion, looking for "in life" blessings that are given just by praying to the skies.

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

    He humbly went though life following the gospels "drinking the Kool-Aid" of religion and biding his time; coasting through life and living by man made fables instead of truly being free and LIVING life without man mad restrictions.

    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

    After you're dead and gone, religions will still be here. Once you die is when you realize if what you followed as a religion was true or false. If you were wrong, the only place you end up at is dying, or crawling off to "sleep" in the bathtub\coffin...

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

    And if the faithful are wrong, they realize that there is no afterlife. The "wake up" in a pine box or "Norwegian Wood" realizing that life had flown by. Never to do over; and they wasted it believing in something that laughed in their faces the whole time

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
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    Aug 1st 2013 report

    I love reading everyone hammering away on what this lyric means or that lyric.. The truth is that they mean what you want them to. If you had ever read ANYTHING about how Lennon and McCartney wrote song, they were written in a flash. They would get together and have a song a an hour! Do you REALLY think that they spent all this time hiding secret meanings in their songs!

  14. anonymous
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    Apr 18th 2013 report

    I was just thinking about the lyrics, and I'm sure that this song was before Yoko, but the song mentions that there aren't any chairs in the room, and sitting on the floor, it sounds really Japanese.

  15. anonymous
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    Mar 8th 2013 report

    In response to werewolf4797's question about why John Lennon would "sleep in the bath", perhaps John wanted to get out of the way of the prostitute's next customer. In other words, John has already established that there were no chairs in the apartment--only a bed. John didn't want to sleep in the bed with a prostitute and her "John", so he moved to the bathroom to sleep--perhaps in the bathtub itself.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
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    Aug 14th 2012 report

    It is about smoking pot with a girl. Norwegian wood is a slang term for pot in Europe.

  17. anonymous
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    Jul 28th 2012 report

    The basic meaning behind this song is obvious..Lennon said himself that he wanted to write a song about his many affairs so he put it in one song..what is ridiculous is this fabrication that the words "Norwegian Wood" means "knew she would".Total BS. Lennon NEVER said that..and I am 48 and one of the biggest Beatle freaks ever..nice try, kids! Norwegian Wood is just two words used as IRONY (look up the word if you do not get it , kids!)Simple...the girl takes him to her place..she makes small talk saying "isn't my apt. nice..walls are made of Norwegian Wood.."..they have sex, she has to go to work-he does not-he is a freakin' rock star..no daytime hours!..so he "lights a fire"..a joint--Lennon was just turned on to weed by Bob Dylan months before..and he CONDENCENDENLY utters "isn't it good..Norwegian Wood". Yer Welcome, Kids! Anyone of yooze got an English degree and not a Computer Useless Engineering-I-Cant-Even-Interpret-The-Simplest-Of-Stories!!

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 11th 2012 report

    come on people!! look at the country
    of norway on a map right next to
    England. john was using a hidden
    sexual meaning. norwegian wood =
    a hard erect penis.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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