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Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
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10 July 2017
12.17am
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Necko
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Dark Overlord said
Good question, there's nothing in the lyrics that aren't family friendly.

Well, aside from the whole burning the house down thing...

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10 July 2017
9.04am
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Necko said

Dark Overlord said
Good question, there's nothing in the lyrics that aren't family friendly.

Well, aside from the whole burning the house down thing...  

Although that requires deep analysis and some speculation. Not necessarily worthy of banning the song entirely. 

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10 July 2017
12.46pm
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sir walter raleigh said

Not necessarily worthy of banning the song entirely.   

Yeah, but, you know, people on censorship boards usually have no sense of humor. 

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10 July 2017
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So you're saying that the i lit a fire line was about burning her house down and not just lighting a fire in her fireplace, why would John sing about burning someone's house down because they have to go to work.

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10 July 2017
6.06pm
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Dark Overlord said
So you're saying that the i lit a fire line was about burning her house down and not just lighting a fire in her fireplace, why would John sing about burning someone's house down because they have to go to work.  

I think it was Paul's suggestion that John burned the house down at the end, coming across as a vengeful love interest, possibly reinforcing his manhood after chickening out ("sleeping in the bath") and missing his opportunity ("and when I awoke, I was alone, this bird has flown").

From wiki

McCartney commented on the final verse of the song: "In our world the guy had to have some sort of revenge. It could have meant I lit a fire to keep myself warm, and wasn't the decor of her house wonderful? But it didn't, it meant I burned the fucking place down as an act of revenge, and then we left it there and went into the instrumental.

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27 July 2017
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Billy Rhythm said
Interesting interpretations by all, someone quoted Paul's account so I'll post John's recollection (of course, it does cloud the issue further, unfortunately):

 

JOHN 1980: "'Norwegian Wood ' is my song completely. It was about an affair I was having. I was very careful and paranoid because I didn't want my wife, Cyn, to know that there really was something going on outside of the household. I'd always had some kind of affairs going on, so I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair... but in such a smoke-screen way that you couldn't tell. But I can't remember any specific woman it had to do with."

 

As for the "fire", my own personal interpretation was always that he was lighting a joint but couldn't talk about that either, remember that 'A Day In The Life 's "I'd love to turn you on", which got that song banned by the BBC, wouldn't appear for yet another year and a half.  "So I lit a fire, isn't it good (space for a quick toke) Norwegian Weed" is how I've always seen it...:-)  

Still the "best" interpretation...  In my opinion...  of course...:-)

28 July 2017
11.49am
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I agree with @Dark Overlord . 'Lit a fire' doesn't necessarily mean burning the house down, if anything he's talking about lighting a blunt.

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28 July 2017
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It might seem weird to contradict something that i said earlier, but Paul himself did say that i lit a fire was John's way of getting revenge for backing out of having sex, which is stupid because that's his fault, he rejected the sex not the girl yet for some reason he wants to light her house on fire, therefore killing her. It's a good thing that Paul accepted the offer in Lovely Rita .

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28 July 2017
1.17pm
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But she wasn't in the house at the time, so it wouldn't have killed her! It's a very convoluted theory, and I don't think Paul really has the authority to say so here, as his story doesn't make sense and it's John's song. 

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28 July 2017
1.21pm
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Dark Overlord
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Paul was there and is a great source so i don't see why i'd disagree with him. Also, maybe the girl wasn't home at the time, John could've burned the house down while she was at work, sparing her life but killing her house.

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28 July 2017
1.31pm
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This is one of the songs that John and Paul disagree over. John maintained that it was completely his song, while Paul says in Many Years from Now that it was a co-write, and that the ending was his idea:

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. It could have meant I lit a fire to keep myself warm, and wasn't the decor of her house wonderful? But it didn't, it meant I burned the fucking place down as an act of revenge, and then we left it there and went into the instrumental.

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29 July 2017
4.57am
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QuarryMan
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But that still doesn't make sense! In the song it says 'I crawled off to sleep in the bath', implying he did it  on his own accord, not that she told him to. And I still don't see any logic behind why 'I lit a fire' means burning the house down as opposed to lightning a joint or simply just one in the fireplace.

in any case, John clearly wrote it in a way that would cause such confusion, so that Cyn wouldn't know it was about an affair.

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29 July 2017
5.29am
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Understand, @QuarryMan, that I am not coming down either way here. As I have said, it is one of those songs John and Paul disagree over the conception and writing of. The title Norwegian Wood , according to Paul, refers to a style of decoration for a room:

John told Playboy that he hadn't the faintest idea where the title came from but I do. Peter 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...

Yes, in the lyric, it says, "I crawled off to sleep in the bath", but the implication is that when she says, "It's time for bed," she doesn't invite the narrator to join her, and so he needs to find somewhere to sleep and chooses the bath.

In the morning, waking up to find she has already left for work, according to Paul, who claims credit for the idea, the narrator sets fire to the wood that has been used to decorate the flat.

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The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

29 July 2017
6.04am
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The bit about going to bed makes more sense now, but I refuse to believe the protagonist lit her house on fire. 

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29 July 2017
10.56am
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I agree that it seems far fetched and like such a crazy idea but when it comes to The Beatles, i prefer to trust eyewitness accounts, even Geoff Emerick is a valuable source to me.

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29 July 2017
12.28pm
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Well regardless of what John intended, we're all free to interpret as we please (just as long as you don't do a Charles Manson), and I interpret it as either lighting a joint or just a fire.

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29 July 2017
1.45pm
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Good point.

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29 July 2017
2.02pm
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I like the Norwegian Weed interpretation the most, although burning the house down does fit in nicely with John's dark themes and lyrics in his songs of the era. He feels guilty about the affair and wants it all to go away.

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2 September 2017
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Is the cough heard just after

"She asked me to stay
And she told me to sit anywhere"

an accident (tons of those in Beatles songs), or deliberate (tons of those in Beatles songs), as in a nervous cough due to the female's invitation?

 

There is so much room for interpretation in this song it's insanely well written.

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2 September 2017
2.16pm
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I think its intentional because of its rhythmic placement. it picks up the next bar quite nicely, although I can only hear it in the mono mix. 

There is so much room for interpretation in this song it's insanely well written.

i agree it is one of those songs that pisses me off with how fantastic a songwriting display it is. There are a lot of those in the Beatles canon, but this stands out among the best. 

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