Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) is a song written and sung by John Lennon and credited to Lennon/McCartney, released on the Rubber Soul album in 1965. This track is generally credited as being the first pop recording to use the sitar, an Indian stringed instrument (although as the TV Tropes Wiki points out, this is wrong; the first known pop recording featuring a sitar was "Goodness Gracious Me" in 1960, and the Kinks also got there before the Beatles). "Norwegian Wood" sparked a musical craze for the sound of the novel instrument in the mid-Sixties. The song is now acknowledged as one of the cornerstones of what is now usually called "world music", and it was a major landmark in the trend towards incorporating non-Western musical influences into Western popular music. Harrison was recently introduced to Indian classical music and the sitar by David Crosby of the Byrds. He soon became fanatically interested in the genre and began taking sitar lessons from renowned Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar.
Norwegian Wood was John Lennon's way of telling his wife (Cynthia Lennon) that he had an affair.
The song was recorded 12 and 21 October 1965 in EMI Studios. Early version (Take 1) was published in the Anthology 2, and Take 2 in an informal bootleg.
I once had a girl
Or should I say, she once had me?
She showed me her room
Isn't it good?
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 the 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 has flown
So I lit a fire
Isn't it good?
- John Lennon — lead vocals, 6-string acoustic guitar (1962 Gibson J-160E)
- Paul McCartney — harmony vocals, bass guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 4001S) or (1963 Höfner 500/1)
- George Harrison — sitar, 12-string acoustic guitar (1964 Framus Hootenanny 5/024)
- Ringo Starr — tambourine, bass drum, finger cymbals
- The plot the song is about a man who becomes in love with a woman and meets her at her house. They talk, she gets the man's hopes up and then ruins them by going to bed (alone and without him), and playing at being ignorant of how she led the man on, she goes to bed without him and he goes to sleep in the bathtub. And then, when he awakens, he realizes he's alone and then lights a fire, burning down the house, probably killing his former-lover asking, "isn't it good?"