The Beatles - Norwegian Wood Question

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by saborlord123, May 7, 2019.

  1. saborlord123

    saborlord123 "I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy." Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Hi all! Sorry about another Beatles thread. ;) I have always wondered who wrote Norwegian Wood. John says that it is his song completely, but Paul states it was a more collaborative effort. Does anyone know what the truth is about who wrote this song or was the truth somewhere in between the two? Thanks.
     
  2. Thievius

    Thievius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Moreno Valley, CA
    It comes down to who do you believe - Lennon or McCartney. Lennon claimed it was his own composition, McCartney claimed they worked on it together after Lennon introduced the work in progress to the band. I tend to think McCartney had some input, at least more than Lennon claimed simply because Lennon's recollection of events tended to change over the years, not just in this case.
     
  3. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    Location:
    malibu ca
    which one would crawl out to sleep in the bath?

    i vote lennon.
     
  4. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate, NY, USA
    I think Paul said he thought of burning down the house at the end.
     
  5. alchemy

    alchemy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    With She came in through the bathroom window?

    Paul
     
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  6. saborlord123

    saborlord123 "I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy." Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for all replies, guys! By the way, what does anyone think about the theory that the song was inspired by John's affair with Robert Freeman's wife, who was German but liked to call herself Norwegian?
     
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  7. saborlord123

    saborlord123 "I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy." Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Forgot to mention that in the 1970 interview with John, he said Paul helped with the middle eight.
     
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  8. chodad

    chodad Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northern NY
  9. frightwigwam

    frightwigwam Talented Amateur

    Location:
    Oregon
    Today I saw someone mention that John wrote "Run for Your Life" and "Norwegian Wood" on the same day. Of course, in the first song, the narrator threatens to kill his girlfriend if he catches her with another man, but another person pointed out that in "Norwegian Wood" he burns a woman's furniture because she won't sleep with him. Quite the mood that day.

    It hadn't occurred to me that he actually burns her furniture--maybe a table or her bed frame, since she apparently doesn't own a chair or sofa--although I can see how that might have been the intended inference in the last line. Is this a controversial reading, or is it generally accepted and I'm just the last person in the world to get it?
     
  10. saborlord123

    saborlord123 "I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy." Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Idk. I thought Paul's comment on writing the song with John was too "on the nose". I personally think John wrote it by himself
     
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  11. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Burt Bacharach

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    It is a pretty well known interpretation of the last line. My belief is more depressing - he lit a fire (in the fireplace) waiting for her to return just to do the whole miserable thing all over again. I think a commentary on the misery (and necessity) of human interaction.
     
  12. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I think that everybody seems to have their own opinions about who did this and who did that. But how can you say when you weren't where it was at?
     
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  13. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo

    Location:
    California
    Do Norwegians export firewood to England?
     
  14. frightwigwam

    frightwigwam Talented Amateur

    Location:
    Oregon
    That's about how I've always taken it. He has nothing else to do with his time, so he lights a fire while he waits, thinking over the lines from the night before.
     
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  15. RedRoseSpeedway

    RedRoseSpeedway Music Lover

    Location:
    Michigan
    Sounds more like a John written song to me, although Paul probably helped
     
  16. Rich C

    Rich C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northbrook, IL
    I agree and will never see it any other way as lighting a fire to destroy something is beyond stupid.

    But I don’t see that as depressing, rather a normal action by someone who is not a psychopath or pyromaniac.
     
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  17. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simcoe County
    Even if John has disputed that?
     
  18. saborlord123

    saborlord123 "I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy." Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    "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, 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."
    -John Lennon

     
  19. saborlord123

    saborlord123 "I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy." Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    That's why they are called opinions.
     
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  20. MPLRecords

    MPLRecords Owner of nine copies of Tug of War

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    "Paul helped with the middle eight, to give credit where it's due." - John Lennon, 1970
     
  21. MPLRecords

    MPLRecords Owner of nine copies of Tug of War

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Those are very mature and artful interpretations.
    Alas, John and Paul weren't that mature.

    "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 ****ing place down as an act of revenge, and then we left it there and went into the instrumental." - Paul in Many Years From Now
     
  22. saborlord123

    saborlord123 "I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard-working guy." Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Yeah, I have heard that one before. But in 1970, something that people dont consider is that John Lennon was still made about the break-up and taking shots at Paul. In 1980, he seemed to warm up the idea of talking about The Beatles and their songs. Who knows? Everybody's story changes all the time.
     
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  23. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    The two guys who were there 54 years ago have both said they collaborated on the song. Random guy on the Internet randomly guesses they didn't.
     
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  24. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Forum Nonconformist

    Location:
    Leicester, UK.
    For many years, I thought that he set fire to the room rather than furniture (that never crossed my mind or relighting a fire) and yes, that would be in revenge of course. I've thought there would be something like oak panelling in the room as that was a bit trendy in those days... and when he's leaving the building or whatever, he's got the last line going round his head with some sort of sickening satisfaction and grinning to himself. Naughty indeed but, get the illustration? :)

    This is the thing about these songs - they can make different people think of or picture things in one way or the other. I used to be in an acoustic music group and we'd all smile at that last line because it was Lennon just being 'smart' as we thought.

    Also, we'd have said over here (and/or still say) "I lit THE fire" if it was to warm the place up in the accepted manner. :D But in the US wouldn't it be said "I lit A fire?" Because if someone said to me, "Have you lit a fire?" I'd have to reply "err, yes... it's the one in we have in the lounge (or living room.)" As I'd not really expect to hear that. Or is all this just me? :winkgrin:
     
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  25. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Obviously only John and Paul knew/know for sure, and all else is speculation.

    Still, a part of me looks at this as an interpretation imposed many years after the fact in an effort to look "cool." Sort of like Bryan Adams' "Well, you know the '69' in 'Summer of '69' wasn't a year" (nudge nudge wink wink)" — something the co-writer of the song vigorously disputes.

    Of course it's all imagination and not real-world. Still, it's a fairly big step to put forth the notion that one would commit a rather horrible crime (possibly endangering the lives of others nearby) just because his advances were spurned.
     
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