- Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (song) - The Paul McCartney Project
- Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
- Норвежский лес
What I am particularly struck by, given the novelty-numbing distance of time, is the extent to which the psychedelic buzzing of that exotic instrument is so uncannily complemented here by the high level of percussive noise achieved by using a hard pick on the otherwise standard twelve-string guitar. This so-called hook would, indeed, make for a lovely and sophisticated textbook example of one of the archetypal melodic paradigms; i.
The modal use of the melodic flat seventh D-natural adds some additional spice. The hook phrase stretches out leisurely over eight measures that are bound to an harmonic "envelope" on the I chord E.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (song) - The Paul McCartney Project
We could likely argue all night about whether or not one hears equally implicit chord changes during this hook, but we've got better things to do all night than that, right, buddy? In any event, this drone-like element in the harmony combines with the sound of the Indian sitar to create a stylistic "sound" which, if you stop to think about it, anticipates here in "a John song" what would soon become very much a specifically Harrisonian trademark.
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The bridge strays briefly into the parallel minor shades of " I'll Be Back " and other earlier Beatles' tunes and provides some welcome harmonic movement, but interestingly, the melodic gesture of those otherwise contrasting sections still remains prevailingly downward.
Examples of this are the staggered opening; the way in which melodic-versus-rhythmic interest is traded back and forth between guitar and sitar even to the point where they double each other in several places; a tamboura-like buzzing drone sound from the sitar that kicks in during the verse following the first bridge; and the clinking of finger cymbals which starts in the second bridge and follows through the final verse and the coda.
John sings the wry lead vocal fully exposed in single track with Paul taking the top part for the bridges, which although it is actually the melodic line of that section, is ironically mixed back. In context of the Beatles we're much more used to seeing the reverse trick of the minor iv chord in a Major key. Two repeats would have been more consistent with the established pattern of the rest of the song, but specifically breaking the rule at this point is what good art and composition are all about in my humble opinion.
Still, I think John sounds vocally out of breath on the low notes in this outtake, hence the motivation for transposing the song upward. The arrangement of take 1 is not only different per se from the official version, but is in many respects more fussily detailed than it, perhaps too much so: The tempo may be close in speed but the whole feel of the beat is more lumberingly deliberate, even a bit mechanical. The solo section in the middle contains only one iteration of the hook phrase.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
John double tracks the end of every phrase in every verse. The sitar playing is rather clunky sounding but it holds all the instrumentally melodic interest, relegating the guitar to a role of entirely rhythmic support. The sitar provides a mockingbird rejoinder in the bridges instead of the verses, and it also throws in a corny "that's all folks" little riff at the very end. Finger cymbals are used throughout, with maracas and a tambourine added for the bridge.
Lewisohn seems to judge the official remake as the "heavier" of the two treatments, but I'd be happy to argue him back the opposite way. While some of the differences in the later version all of one week on the calendar! 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. General Comment this 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. Flag seenie on June 11, General Comment This 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? 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.
I always took "lit a fire" to mean smoke either a cigarette or some weed Flag jkisau on June 10, General Comment Reading 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? Suprisingly enough - with the 15 responses I got as many - maybe more - than are found here. 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. And interesting point, a couple reserached the song, were surprised by the arson theory, and flat out rejected it. 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. General Comment This 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? Wtf are you talking about?! Flag redshiftdazzler on December 18, General Comment To 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 Bite Me. General Comment hmmm General Comment Norwegian Wood is slang for hashish Rate These Lyrics. Log in now to add this track to your mixtape! Why not add your own?
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