Wednesday, 17 July 2013


In which I extract the poetry hidden in well-known songs.

I have written elsewhere about my exploits in Sweden during a mainly mis-spent youth. There is one song which always takes me back to those times, though the Beatles got the country wrong and sang about Norway instead of Sweden - Norwegian Wood.

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.

This was Paul McCartney's explanation of the lyrics (which were mainly written by John Lennon) courtesy of wikipedia.

"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 ..."

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