One of the finest songwriters of his generation, Bruce Springsteen made a huge impact with his song ‘Thunder Road’, which appeared on The Boss’ seminal album Born to Run. The song is equal parts operatic love story and grit in your teeth romp, that is not up for debate. But what has been hotly contested over the years are the lyrics.
Trusting lyric sheets and official websites implicitly may be leading you down the wrong path as Springsteen’s manager has admitted that for 46 years the lyrics to ‘Thunder Road’ have been misrepresented.
For years, the lyrics have read “Mary’s dress waves,” even if it didn’t perfectly rhyme with the next line that ends with “plays” or whether or not fans heard the lyrics “Mary’s dress sways”. Now, it seems they will be corrected.
Springsteen’s longtime manager Jon Landau who co-produced the album has now weighed in on the debate and confirmed that the lyric sheets have had it wrong all these years.
“The word is ‘sways,’” Landau told the New Yorker’s David Remnick, after a debate ran through the music world. What’s more, not only did Landau clarify the words but vowed to correct them too. “Any typos in official Bruce material will be corrected,” Landau said.
“That’s the way he wrote it in his original notebooks,” continued Landau, “that’s the way he sang it on Born to Run, in 1975, that’s the way he has always sung it at thousands of shows, and that’s the way he sings it right now on Broadway.”
True to his word, Bruce Springsteen’s official website now reads “sways” and confirms that all those fans who valiantly fought back against the tyranny of lyric sheets can feel vindicated.
Listen to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road’ below and see if you can understand the confusion.