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...


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    Dec 6th, 2008 12:27am report

    The remaining Beatles are probably laughing something rotten about all this. Many of their lyrics were merely whimsy, cobbled together, changed in a moment, words put in because \"they sounded good\", that sound being more important than meaning. It\'s not much use getting all heavy and artistically sensitive about it - you will never know and neither shall I.


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    Aug 10th, 2008 8:39am report

    He picked up a girl in a bar, went home with her sat having a boring conversation with her. Then he went to bed, he knew he liked this chick a lot, and probably slept easy. She woke him up the next morning to say she was going to work (the slept in the bath part is kind of weird, can anyone explain that?). after all day waiting for her, heartbroken, he stripped the wood paneling off the walls, and lit it on fire, literally burning the memory.

    This is the literal expansion, I don't like to get in to the stupid metaphors and just enjoy the music. It is pretty hard to imagine John Lennon committing arson, let alone getting away whith it, but who says it's about John?

    Interpret the song metaphorically how you wish, but that's the literal meaning.


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    May 25th, 2008 5:10am report

    Paul McCartney discussed this on Brian Mathews' Radio 2 show "Sounds of the Sixties" broadcast on May 25th 2008.

    Paul said that he and John often "fused" the lyrics of songs together (one writing one start, the other the end). On Norweigan Wood, Paul said that he threw the bit in at the end about burning down the girl's flat, thinking that John would reject it, but John thought it was really funny in a perverse sort of way, so it was kept in. Yes, John was having an affair at the time too.


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    May 22nd, 2008 5:41pm report

    In my reading of it, the song is about a musician who picks up a girl after a show that he believes to be a groupie, only to discover (too late) she is in fact a prostitute.

    "I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me."

    ie, he 'had' her sexually, but she 'had' him; tricked him into owing her money.

    "She said 'sit anywhere'/ but I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair"

    ie, because a prostitute would only need a bed in her flat, not a chair.

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

    ie, a prostitute would work in the early morning (12-6 am)

    "Isn't it good/ Norwegian Wood" seems to play on the two senses of the phrase at two different points in the song - wood paneling and marijuana - and at the end, he lights up a joint to calm his nerves.


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    Mar 21st, 2008 3:31am report

    Alright so if you watch any of The Beatles Anthology, John talks about this song in it... The working title for this song was "Knowing She Would." However, the title/song was to promiscuous for the censors at the time. Knowing Brian Epstein (The Beatles manager) would put up an fight and ultimately cost the band money or air-time, John simply changed the title to "Norwegian Wood," because it fit the syllables. The term "Norwegian Wood" comes from the bands knick-name for marijuana. The story, according to John, is that the four of them were in Buckingham Palace getting ready for a ceremony with the Queen, when they snuck into the bathroom to smoke some pot and came up with the phrase. Ever since then, the name "Norwegian Wood" has been the 'code word' for John(rip), Paul, George(rip) and Ringo. He added the last line so people might possibly pick up on the clever well placed hint. He was surprised when he noticed no one really ever did (until he told the world).


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    Feb 15th, 2008 2:46pm report

    Yeah, Norwegian wood is cheap pine, and also sounds like knowing she would. John lights a fire, possibly meaning the apartment, or as some people said, a joint. I think the point is having lyrics that are open to interpretation. Maybe John and Paul said it was about an affair or a prostitute, and Lucy in the sky with diamonds is about a child's art project. But its when you start accepting the artists statements as definitive, the magic is lost from the song.


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    Jan 12th, 2008 1:10am report

    This song is about one of the many affairs John was having during the 60's but the line "I lit a fire" I believe refers to him lighting up a joint and smoking before he leaves..i doubt he actually burned the whore's apt. down


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    Oct 20th, 2007 10:13am report

    Norwegian Wood is the slang for Cheap Pine, which cheap British Flats were made of. This song actually of the story of John Cheating on his wife. He is trying to tell his friend who is sick the story without letting his wife know.


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    May 30th, 2007 5:50pm report

    2006-04-08 is the explanation, I have a biography and N. Wood is actually cheapo wood, I am not typing my interpretation as Anonymous on 2006-04-08 must be a true Beatles fan as they are correct!


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    Apr 26th, 2007 4:14pm report

    Agreed, is about burning the chick's house down after 'this bird had flown' after getting some tang off john. Lucky girl!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Jan 17th, 2007 1:52am report

    The song, originally titled, "Knowing She Would," is about an affair that John had with a hooker while going through a rough time with his first wife Cynthia, who he later divorced to marry that hideous creature known simply as YOKO.


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    Nov 20th, 2006 11:03pm report

    Inspired by an affair, John was so pissed he wanted to burn her house down. Paul is still uptight about the lyrics.


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    Nov 2nd, 2006 11:41am report

    John was pullin a bird in norway during their last tour of that retched place...She was a one night stand that turned into a few days...She was a workin girl..Had a job to go to in the morn ..John didnt..She had said on the way out the door she'd always thought he was a laugh since seeing the bathtub scene in hard days night...Laugh..Crawled off to sleep in the bath....After that comment he wanted to burn the crappy teak filled room down..But he didnt...He wrot e the tune instead!!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Jul 11th, 2006 7:52am report

    The song IS about an affair that John had and in attempts to hide the fact from his wife he traded the direct and indescrete "knowing she would" for the more poetic and obscure "Norwegian Wood'.


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    Jun 14th, 2006 6:46pm report

    Norwegian wood = knowing she would

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