I was puzzled as a youngster (and indeed, up until last week) by the title of “Norwegian Wood.” The song is moody, and I always pictured a dark forest of young skinny trees, probably related to the photomural in my dentist’s office. But no, I read now that it was a dig at the girl’s cheap furnishings. Paul said in a 1998 book:
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.
For a famous guy, John famously had some issues with women (witness the original lyrics of “Day Tripper” — hint: She was not a “big” teaser). Also I didn’t realize until years later that he supposedly burns down her apartment (or whatever it is) at the end of the song. To which I say “Hmph.”
So to create the effect this song apparently should have had on me, I have reworded it slightly.
She texted ‘Come over’ so I rushed to get to her flat
I plied her with liquor and told her she didn’t look fat
We laughed at ourselves / isn’t it swell / IKEA shelves
She played me her John Mayer albums and I found them vile
I told her I wanted to bonk now and she didn’t smile
She put me through hell / isn’t it swell / IKEA shelves.
Still mysterious: how British people sleep in bathtubs.