This Bird Has Flown
“Do you think you weren’t loved enough?”
She tilted her head and looked at me. Then she gave a sharp, little nod. “Somewhere between ‘not enough’ and ‘not at all’. I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it – to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any mroe. Just once. But they never gave that to me. Never, not once. If I tried to cuddle up and beg for somethings, they’d ust shove me away and yell at me. ‘No! That costs too much!’ It’s all I ever heard. So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally 365 days a year. I was still in primary school at the time, but I made up my mind once and for all.”
“Wow,” I said. “And did your search pay off?”
“That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.”
“Waiting for the perfect love?”
“No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortbread. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortbread out to me. And I say I don’t want it any more and throw it out of the window. That’s what I’m looking for.”
– excerpt from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
I once had a girl,
Or should I say
She once had me.
She showed me her room,
Isn’t it good?
– Norwegian Wood by The Beatles
The lyrics of the song sketch an encounter between the singer and an unnamed girl (or “bird” in British slang). They drink wine in her room and talk into the night. Their flirtation is apparently unconsummated, as the singer “crawl[s] off to sleep in the bath”. When he wakes up the following morning, the singer is alone and lights a fire.
The exact meaning of the title “Norwegian Wood” remains a mystery. The name of the song is mentioned in the first verse (“She showed me her room / Isn’t it good? / Norwegian wood?”) and again in its last line (“So, I lit a fire / Isn’t it good? / Norwegian wood?”). Some say that “Norwegian Wood” may be a pun with a nickname of a strong variety of marijuana. Others claim the final line of the song implies that the singer burned the home of the girl (the apparent official version, according to McCartney) using the furniture as fuel, or burned the girl’s furniture in the fireplace, others claim the word “wood” is a metaphor for an erect penis.