Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
- John Lennon – double-tracked lead vocal, acoustic guitar
- Paul McCartney – bass, harmony vocal
- George Harrison – double-tracked sitar
- Ringo Starr – tambourine, maracas, finger cymbals
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), more popularly known as just Norwegian Wood, represents a substantial departure, musically and lyrically, from the "Hey, Hey, Hey" feeling of the Beatles' early period. The lyrics are dark and brooding, like many of the songs on the Rubber Soul album. The music is worlds away from the blues and rock formats so common in the Beatles' catalog to this point and foreshadows the unequaled creativity the group would unleash in the years ahead.
Lennon wrote this song while Paul composed the middle eight. Harrison plays the sitar for the first time in a track laid down by a rock group. Harrison's sitar is double-tracked on this song.
The harmonies are typical Beatles treatments (mainly parallel fifths), but the pace, the mode, and the chord sequences belie the musical genius and revolutionary quality of the Beatles' musicianship.
The mysterious lyrics are attributed to John's writing about an affair he was having, but not wanting to be too explicit about it, for obvious reasons. The narrative is totally fictional: The setting is a pine paneled flat; the lovers quarrel; the man is relegated to sleeping in the bath; and as revenge, he burns the place down.
October 21, 1965 in 4 takes.