Simple past (and more) in “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Do you ever have a song with a memorable melody or lyrics that repeats in your mind? I didn’t know until recently that this is called an “earworm” or “brainworm”, not a very attractive name for sure but I like having music on my mind, don’t you?

One of the best ways to pick up (learn informally) and reinforce a language is through songs and I have a classic one for you: “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles. It’s beneficial for English learners because the lyrics are all in the simple past and it also includes reported speech (also called indirect speech) which is used to communicate what someone else said, but without using the exact words (I told her, she told me, Marco said that, etc.).

Here are the lyrics, written by Lennon and McCartney, about a relationship with a woman that didn’t proceed the way the man hoped it would. Note that “bird” is informal British English meaning “a young woman”.

Norwegian Wood (click to hear the song on Youtube)

I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me

She showed me her room

Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

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 a 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 had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

Music helps make learning a language fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment