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?

Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" as written by Paul Mccartney John Lennon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +12
    Song MeaningThe meaning of this song is explained. It is credited to Lennon/McCartney although it seems Lennon wrote most lyrics.

    "I came in and he had this first stanza, which was brilliant: 'I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.' That was all he had, no title, no nothing. I said, 'Oh yes, well, ha, we're there.' And it wrote itself. Once you've got the great idea, they do tend to write themselves, providing you know how to write songs. So I picked it up at the second verse, it's a story. It's him trying to pull a bird, it was about an affair. 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...
    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."
    Paul McCartney
    Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

    Norwegian Wood is a fake wood that was used to make cheap furniture. Lennon knew people who were using it in their homes and thought it would make a good title.
    There are not many lyrics in this song, but they tell the story of a man who gets invited to a girl's house. When she won't let him into her bed, he sleeps in the tub. When she leaves the next morning, he sets the place on fire. It was one of the first songs Lennon wrote that told a complete story.
    Docenton August 19, 2010   Link
  • +7
    General CommentREPORTER: I'd like to direct this question to messrs. Lennon and McCartney. In a recent article, Time magazine put down pop music. And they referred to "Day Tripper" as being about a prostitute...

    PAUL: Oh yeah.

    REPORTER: ...and "Norwegian Wood" as being about a lesbian.

    PAUL: Oh yeah.

    REPORTER: I just wanted to know what your intent was when you wrote it, and what your feeling is about the Time magazine criticism of the music that is being written today.

    PAUL: We were just trying to write songs about prostitutes and lesbians, that's all.
    fusionpiton February 03, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentNorwegian Wood is a type of very cheap pine. It burns quickly. Paul says it was his idea to burn the place down in the song. John says there was no one woman he was thinking about when he wrote this song, but that he was having so many affairs at the time, he wrote it in such a way as to keep his first wife Cynthia from getting suspicious. It has also been suggested that the woman in the song was the actress, Natalie Wood. As an actress, she would need to get up early to be on the movie set. John did meet a number of starlets in Hollywood during their tours, including Jayne Mansfield, but Natalie Wood has never been documented. With John's love for word play, it's plausible he would change "Natalie" to "Norwegian", but I doubt this.
    svjunioron May 31, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis is a clever little song about revenge, which seems odd for the Beatles, but the sly twist makes it more humorous than cruel. He sets up by saying he once 'had' a girl, meaning he had her where he wanted her, or so he thought. In fact, it was she who 'had' him, as in yanked his chain. She made him think he was going to get lucky, but all she really wanted was his company for a few hours.

    So, the girl invites him to her place, and he is expecting to get it on with her. Instead she prattles on and on until 2 AM, talking about irrelevant things and trying to impress him: "Look at this place, it's made of Norwegian wood. Isn't it good?" So he's been waiting all this time for her to put out, but she instead decides it's time for bed because she has to get up early. She does not invite him to sleep with her (thereby the song hints that they didn't do what he was there expecting to do--have sex); annoyed, he goes off to sleep in the tub, which is no doubt very uncomfortable.

    When he wakes she's gone; she didn't even have the decency to wake him up and say goodbye. So what does he do? Burns down her precious Norwegian wood house. :-)
    Starwatcher23on November 29, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis song is so vague because john was having an affair, but since he was married to cynthia at the time, he didnt want her to know. the sitar is the best part of the song...
    ramblingfoolon January 20, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentReading all of these postings I became fascinated - OK obsessed -with all of the interpretations of this song. I thought I knew what the song was about, but apparently not. I decided to send out a poll to family and friends (ages 28 through 60) to get their opinions. I asked them 3 questions:
    1) Was one person seducing the other, and if so which one?
    2) Did they have sex>
    3)What does “Norwegian wood” refer to, and how does it relate to the fire at the end?

    Suprisingly enough - with the 15 responses I got as many - maybe more - than are found here.
    1) 7 people thought that she was seducing him, 1 thought he was seducing her, the remainder thought it was either mutual or weren't sure.
    2)10 thought they did not have sex, while 5 thought they did.
    3) 3 people thought he burned furniture in the fireplace, 2 people thought he was smoking marijuana, 2 people though he burned the place down, 4 people thought that that Norwegian wood referred to logs in the fireplace, and 2 people thought the setting was Norway and that it referred to the forest outside.

    Despite the relatively few answers to these questions, it resulted in a myriad of combinations, so only a few peoples' interpretations of the song coincided : e.g. she seduced him, they had sex and he threw a table in the fire vs. she seduced him, they didn't have sex and he lit the fire in the morning, vs.....
    And interesting point, a couple reserached the song, were surprised by the arson theory, and flat out rejected it.

    As for my own interpretation - - it was similar to azaud’s. I also feel compelled to discount the arson theories based on the meoldic nature of the tune and the tone of the lyrics.

    Great discussion on everybody's part.
    MamboManon March 01, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song reminds me of a British movie that came out in the eighties about
    an English college exchange student who goes to Paris,where she loses her virginity
    to a Norwegian boy also a student-hence-"Noerwegian wood". Rather cheeky that huh?
    Thia007on November 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo rhink:She had no furniture left when he got there ("there wasn't a chair")- she'd already been using it for firewood. At the end, he burns the whole house down. Says Paul,"It was me who decided... the house should burn down..."
    Bite Meon May 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmmm....i always heard this song was about a drug addiction. it was written just as the beatles were appraoching their "druggy" stage. "i once had a girl, or should i say, she once had me"~~ sounds almost like an addiction, huh??? and when he wakes up and she is gone, it's like the morning after a night of getting toked up. i'm not sure, you guys have some pretty good ideas though, i could be wrong....any ways the BEATLES rock!!!
    shizzlefitson July 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNorwegian Wood is slang for hashish...
    prokopon April 18, 2004   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top